Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cover Crop Planning Starts Now


Time to plan for cover crops

Make this a year to ‘Cover Some Ground,’ Soil Health Partnership says

OUIS — When it comes to growing cover crops, some common advice from the more than 100 farmers enrolled in the Soil Health Partnership is “start small.” The SHP is encouraging farmers new to cover crops to start small, but start now.
A cover crop is a crop planted primarily to reduce soil erosion, improve soil health, and protect water quality, among other benefits. Typical varieties in the Midwest include cereal rye, oats and tillage radish.
David Moose, an Auburn, Ill. farmer enrolled in the SHP program, has grown cover crops on his farm for several years. Kneeling in his black soil at a November field day, Moose pulls up a tiny green plant. The cereal rye’s thin roots extend deeper into the soil than looks possible.
“This root is already nearly 12 inches long,” Moose says. “It will grow to be another one or two feet down in the soil, providing a nice environment for worms, and creating channels for water to go down deep. I don’t have to rip up the soil for this to happen.”
Growing cover crops, usually in fall and winter, can provide striking benefits to soil health, including:
  • Erosion Prevention. Reducing the soil’s exposure to wind and water can help keep precious topsoil in place.
  • Restoring Organic Matter.  Some components of organic matter can help bind soil.....(To Read more, click the following link:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gray Hairstreak Caterpillar (Strymon melinus)

Picture taken by: Jason Tyrell 

Picture taken by: Jason Tyrell 

This little guy decided to drill a few holes in my green beans in my garden. This caterpillar will be found on flowers and fruits from a ton of different plants. However they are most commonly found on the pea and mallow family, including beans (as we can see from my picture), clovers, cotton and mallow. This caterpillar is capable of causing economic loss in bean and cotton crops.

After this caterpillar turns into a butterfly, this is what it will look like: 
© S. Bright 9/3/2007  Blount County

4-11-07. Falcon Heights, TX. ©Berry Nall or as stated

As an adult, the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly will rely on nectar from several flower species including: Milkweed, goldenrod, white sweet clover, dogbane, mint , winter cress, and trefoil.
You will find this butterfly in non-forested areas, mostly in disturbed weedy areas. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

2017 Conservation Camp

Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District has been offering a day camp for area youth for 32 years!  This year at the Conservation Camp, our theme will be “Wake Up and Go Outside” with fun and educational activities.

The two day camp is scheduled for July 27 & 28 from 9:00am to 2:00pm, and is open to all Guernsey County youth, ages 8-11.  It will be held at Salt Fork State Park and the Wilds.  Camp fee is only $10.00 for both days.  For this fee, the camper will receive a lunch both days and their own camp T-shirt.  There will be 2 locations (one in Cambridge and one in Byesville) for bus pick-up and drop-off.

On the first day, we’ll take a bus to Salt Fork State Park, where the kids will spend the morning canoeing, fishing and learning archery.  After a picnic lunch, they will learn about the species found in the area and play a variety of fun, educational games.

On the second day, students will take a tour at the Wilds and learn about the multitude of species both managed and unmanaged that call the Wilds home.  They will have the opportunity to explore the Wilds’ pollinator habitat and learn about the restoration efforts throughout the property.  After the tour and lunch, we’ll make some great crafts to take home.

For a registration form or if you have questions, please call Guernsey SWCD at (740) 489-5276, Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm or stop by our office on the Guernsey County Fairgrounds at 335C Old National Rd, Old Washington 43768. Registration deadline is July 20th.  Only the first 30 applications will be taken.