Tuesday September 23rd
The Eaton Conservation District and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) will sponsor a free domestic drinking water well screening on Tuesday September 23rd from 1pm-4pm. Those that wish to have their well water screened for nitrates, free of charge, can bring water samples to the Eaton Conservation District Office.
Samples from drinking water wells will be screened for nitrate and nitrite. The screening is open to everyone who uses a personal well for drinking water. Bring your samples to the Eaton Conservation District office located at 551 Courthouse Drive, Suite 3, in Charlotte on Tuesday, September 23rd between 1-4pm. This service is for private drinking water wells only. Public water supplies are tested regularly. Please do not bring samples from public water supplies or non-drinking water sources. Only drinking water well samples will be tested. You do not have to use a special bottle for this screening. Any small clean jar will work—one ounce of water is enough.
Please follow the directions below to sample your well. Collect samples just before bringing them to the sample drop-off. Samples must be less than 48 hours old for a valid nitrate result.
1. Pick a tap that supplies water that has not run through any treatment devices (water softener, carbon filter, etc.). An outdoor faucet often works well.
2. Run the water for 20-30 minutes before collecting the sample. This will give the pump time to flush the water pressure tank and plumbing so you can collect a valid sample. Disconnect any hoses before collecting the sample; do not sample through a hose. Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled; then fill and cap the bottle.
3. Label the bottle clearly with your name, the sampling date, and the well name (cottage well, Mom's well, etc.) using a waterproof pen.
4. Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is dropped off.
All results are confidential. You will get your results onsite at the Conservation District as well as information on what to do should nitrite or nitrates show up in your drinking water. If you are pursuing MAEAP verification, bring your water samples in for screening. If no Nitrates are detected you may be exempt from having to pay for Nitrate sampling at the State Lab. Ask Jen for more details.
For more information contact Jen Silveri at the Eaton Conservation District Office at 517-543-5848 ext 5 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 551 Courthouse Dr. Suite 3, Charlotte, MI.
Don’t farm naked, plant cover crops for soil health! Eaton Conservation District, Eaton County Farm Bureau and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation service will be sponsoring a fall field day on Friday, September 12, 2014. The event, hosted by The Country Mill and Upright Farms in Charlotte MI, will feature nationally renowned guest speaker, Dr. Hans Kok! Hans is an Indiana based agriculture consultant who contracts with the Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative. He uses an innovative approach to teach producers about the importance of managing soils much like they would livestock or crops to maximize long term sustainability and farm economics.
In addition to Dr. Kok’s presentation, the Field Day will feature great demonstrations and discussions about improving soil health on the farm, integrated weed management tips to get more bang for your pesticide costs, and an update on the new Farm Bill. RUP credits will be available for certified pesticide applicators who attend and MAEAP phase 1 credit is available for all participants. Local businesses have donated prizes for the event, including cover crop seed from the Eaton Farm Bureau Co-op. Registration is $10 and covers lunch and materials. Farm Bureau members will receive a reduced rate at $5. Those interested in participating in the tour should contact the Eaton Conservation District (517) 543-5848 ext. 5 no later than September 9th to register.
Drones Added to Don’t Farm Naked Field Day!
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs or drones) demonstration has been added to the Don’t Farm Naked Field Day on September 12th. Bruno Basso, associate professor at MSU, will be joining the agricultural field day to demonstrate his work using UAVs to model water and nutrient cycling in relation to agro-ecosystems. Basso is working to develop SALUS, a next-generation process-based model that integrates crop productivity with water, carbon, and nutrient fluxes in a spatially explicit manner.
Friday September 12th 9am-4pm
The Country Mill and Upright Farms
4648 Otto Road
Charlotte, MI 48813
Field Day Topics
Win Free Prizes and Cover Crop seed!
The Ingham Conservation District is hosting an agricultural field day on Tuesday August 19th entitled "Livestock Best Management Practices: Small Contributions and Big Impacts". The event begins at 8:45 and ends at 1:15. Lunch will be provided. Enjoy interesting and practical discussions on pasture health, manure and nutrient
management and weed control. MAEAP Phase 1 Credits and 5 Pesticide Recertification Credits are available. More details are provided on the attached flyer. Register today at www.inghamconservation.com.
The Clinton Conservation District will be hosting a Smart Drainage: Use it, Don’t lose it field day Thursday, August
28th from 8:30-noon at 2435 N Tallman Rd Fowler, MI.
The focus of the field day will be on water management practices that are both environmentally friendly and economically smart. Presentations will focus on reducing the risk of manure movement in tile lines, drainage control structures, nutrient runoff via a rainfall simulator, and responding to emergencies. Presenters will include Frank Gibbs, a retired NRCS soil scientist, who will showcase soil macropores via a smoke in a tile line demonstration and Phil Algreen, of AgriDrain, who will showcase a Drainage Control Structure which can be used to regulate the amount of water flowing out of a tile line.
RSVP’s to 989.224.3720 ext 3 are greatly appreciated!
The Eaton Conservation District is pleased to announce that the first three research farms on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) have achieved verification under the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The MSU Cow Calf Teaching & Research Center, MSU Swine Teaching& Research Center and the MSU Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center received recognition June 30 from Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) for becoming verified under the MAEAP Farmstead and Livestock Systems.
Joe Kelpinski, MAEAP verifier with MDARD applauded MSU’s verifications. “It was a pleasure to work with MSU through the verification process. As one of the premier land grant research colleges in the United States, MSU is known for their teaching and research. By obtaining their MAEAP verifications, the MSU facilities that were verified have shown not only their commitment to continued research on improving animal production, but that they are focusing on doing so in a manner that is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. Their continued efforts in this area have enabled them to meet the rigorous MAEAP standards and show that production and environmental commitment can coexist to the benefit of both in livestock production systems. These facilities are to be commended for their efforts.”
All three MSU centers are utilized by faculty, staff, and students to develop successful graduates, conduct innovative research, and engage stakeholders. The facilities are used to advance agriculture using multidisciplinary approaches to teach, generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge in livestock biology and management
while providing hands-on learning opportunities for students.
The Cow Calf Center, established at its current location in 1954, is a 340-acre, pasture-based operation that focuses on the breeding and management of beef cattle. The Swine Center, established in 1997, has a closed breeding program which produces animals that are used for research in nutrition, behavior, genetics, environmental management, meat science and muscle biology, and production management. Animals are also used for class projects and experiences for all MSU students, as well as many 4-H, FFA, and other youth and adult activities. The Beef Cattle Center, established in 1964, conducts basic and applied beef cattle (ruminant) research and teaching that benefits beef cattle producers and ultimately the consumers of Michigan.
“Becoming MAEAP verified was a logical step for our South Campus farms. Although we are mandated to implement best management practices, with so many of our stakeholders investing time and resources to achieve MAEAP verification we felt it was important for us to do the same. We are proud to plant the MAEAP verified sign in front of our facilities and look forward to having all our farms verified.” said Dr. Janice Swanson, Chair of the MSU Department of Animal Science. Other farms and facilities on campus are in the process of achieving MAEAP verification. This process can take anywhere from a few months to several years depending on the size of the farm and their ability to dedicate time to working on the MAEAP process in addition to normal farm responsibilities.
MAEAP focuses on helping farmers adopt management practices that proactively prevent pollution on the farm. Producers are encouraged to use soils tests to assess fertilizer demands of crops and minimize nitrogen and phosphorus loading of Michigan’s groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams. The program also focuses on responsible soil erosion, manure management, odor management, well water testing, pesticide use and storage, irrigation management, water conservation, fuel storage, and a number of other issues that pertain directly to the farmstead. MAEAP is a voluntary program that allows farmers to access free, confidential, technical assistance to protect natural resources on the farm. It offers a nonregulatory route for farms to be assured they are in compliance with Right to Farm and applicable laws.
For more information on MAEAP or other conservation programs please contact your local technician, Jennifer Silveri, at the Eaton Conservation District, (517) 543-5848 ext 112 or by email at email@example.com. For more information about the farms on MSU’s Campus visit http://www.ans.msu.edu/facilities.
The recent oil spill mystery in Lansing on the Grand River reminds us that everything we do, affects our local waterways. The fluids that leak or drip from your automobile eventually end up in our rivers, lakes, and streams. Did you know that even though your home may be miles away from a lake or a river, the chemicals that spill on your driveway or parking lot find their way to our local waterways? Eaton County is home to three separate watersheds: the Grand River, Thornapple River, and Battle Creek River Watersheds. The rainwater, soiled water from washing your car, and any toxic chemicals which are allowed to enter drainage ditches and storm sewers end up flowing into these watersheds. Keeping hazardous chemicals from entering the watershed is an important task for everyone to keep in mind. Here are suggestions how the proper maintenance of your automobile plays a key role in
keeping our surface water clean.
Repair any leaks and drips from your automobile. This includes: motor oil, transmission fluid, anti-freeze/coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, gasoline and other lubricants. Remember, these chemicals are also dangerous to your pets.
If you choose to change your own oil, do not dump the used oil in the yard, on your driveway, or in a storm drain. Find a local firm that will recycle the used oil.
Do not use used motor oil to control dust on gravel drives.
Wash your car on the grass to filter out impurities or take it to a commercial car wash where the water is reclaimed (check local ordinances first).
Basic automobile maintenance such as tune-ups, proper tire inflation, and efficient driving practices saves on fuel, as well as water and air pollution.
Abandoned automobiles should be taken to a scrap yard or donated to a local charity. Old cars sitting out in a field will leak oil and fuel.
Having a clean environment is of primary importance for our health and economy. Clean waterways provide recreation, commercial opportunities, fish habitat, and add beauty to our landscape. All of us benefit
from clean water - and all of us have a role in getting and keeping our lakes, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater clean. For more easy steps on protecting our lakes and streams, visit www.pollutionisntpretty.org or contact the Eaton Conservation District at 517/543-5848 x 5.
March 19, 2014
Eaton Conservation District
Basement Conference Room
551 Courthouse Dr.
Charlotte, MI 48813
Do you have questions about wildlife issues? Do you want to learn how to create or enhance wildlife habitat on your property? Then join ECD for our Wildlife Habitat Workshop. Participants will learn about conservation programs,
wildlife management, and habitat improvement methods. Adam Bump with the Michigan DNR will present on the State of Wolves in Michigan. Local sportsman's groups will also be in attendance.
There is no charge to attend, but since space is limited, RSVPs are appreciated. Call the Eaton Conservation District at (517) 543-5848 ext.5 to sign up.
Backyard Orchardist Pruning Workshop
March 20, 2014
Country Mill Farms, LLC
4648 Otto Rd.
Charlotte, MI 48813
Cost: $8 per person
Many people are interested in having their very own fruit trees. The thought of having a convenient source of fresh fruit is very appealing. However, caring for a fruit tree when just starting out can be an intimidating prospect.
This is where ECD's Pruning Workshop can help. This workshop and on-site demonstration at the Country Mill will show how to correctly care for your trees to get the most out of your investment.
For more details and to RSVP, please call the Eaton Conservation District at 517-543-5848 ext.5.
The 2014 annual meeting was a great success! We had a great meal, presented conservation awards, re-elected 2 board members, provided program updates, and saw the debut of the Greening Mid-Michigan Agriculture Video. Door Prizes and Silent auction made possible by many local businesses.