The Press-Dispatch

April 13, 2022

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Spring 2022 VOLUME 13, ISSUE 2 Special section published by The Press-Dispatch Pike County Soil and Water Conservation District Newsletter Pike County Soil and Water Conservation District Newsletter Planter Planter We are Ag People Helping Ag People During the Great Depression in 1931, area farmers decided to pool their resources together and form a cooperative. This cooperative would assist the agricultural community with competitive loan products and rates through tough times, as well as periods of prosperity. For 91 years, Beacon Credit Union has held true to these roots and continues to offer value with personalized and dedicated service to farm families. Our lenders understand your challenges, as they have been raised on family farms. Many remain involved in their personal farm operations, necessitating the need to make the same decisions you are faced with daily. We are ag people helping ag people. We are Beacon Ag Group. (800) 762-3136 | ©BCU2022 Pike County SWCD SWCD BOARD MEMBERS Norman Dillon, Chairman Paul Lake, Vice Chairman Brad Smith, Supervisor Tom Rudolph, Supervisor Ryan Loos, Supervisor SWCD STAFF Kyla Estey, District Coordinator Lydia Spann, District Technician NRCS STAFF Emily Kelly – District Conservationist FSA Amy Barber, CED Amy Foust, Program Technician Brenda Nicholson, Program Technician Beth Coleman, Temporary Program Technician MEETING INFORMATION Pike County SWCD board meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. EDT at the USDA Service Center in Petersburg (unless otherwise advertised). The public is invited to attend all meetings. NOW SEEKING Rule 5 Plan Reviewer The Pike County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) is seeking a contracted person to review Storm- water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) submitted for IDEM's Construction Stormwater General Permit, as well as, inspect construction sites for compliance with SWPPP. This professional position requires technical knowledge and/or work experience in soil conservation measures and natural resources management. If you are interest- ed in this position please email resumes to kyla.estey@, or call the Pike County SWCD @ (812) 354-6120 ext.3. Invasive Tool Share Program The Pike County SWCD in partnership with Gibson, Vanderburgh, Posey and Warrick Counties completed a Clean Water Indiana Grant this year. Each county has a list of invasive tools that their citizens can rent to help re- move invasives on their property. Contact your local office to see what tools are available to you. The Pike SWCD has a pullerbear tool to help remove invasive shrubs that are difficult to remove by hand. To remove smaller vines and shrubs, there are 30" loppers. For areas needing chemical treatment, we have a 2 gallon stand sprayer and a 4 gallon backpack sprayer. Chemicals are NOT provided. There is also a folding saw, spray bot- tles for smaller areas, leather gloves, safety goggles, boot brush and machete. A $20 deposit ($50 deposit for Echo 410 Brushcutter) and signed waiver is required at pick up. The deposit will be refunded when items are returned clean (sprayers) and in good shape/working condition (Echo 410 Brushcutter). If you are interested in renting an of these tools, con- tact the office at 812-354-6120, ext 3. A little about the State Dept. of Agriculture The Indiana State Department of Agri- culture (ISDA) was established as a sep- arate state agency by the Legislature in 2005. Administratively, ISDA reports to the Lt. Governor, who also serves as In- diana's Secretary of Agriculture and Ru- ral Development. ISDA is also a member of the Governor's Cabinet. Major respon- sibilities include advocacy for Indiana ag- riculture at the local, state and federal level, managing soil conservation pro- grams, promoting economic develop- ment and agricultural innovation, serv- ing as a regulatory ombudsman for agri- cultural businesses, and licensing grain firms throughout the state. The Vision of ISDA–Indiana agricul- ture will be a global leader in innovation and commercialization for food, fuel and fiber production. ISDA's Mission–ISDA will support growth in Indiana agriculture by serv- ing as an advocate at the local, state and federal level; defining and nurturing eco- nomic opportunity in the food, fuel and fi- ber sectors; and enhancing the steward- ship of natural resources on agricultur- al land. Strategic Initiatives–ISDA resourc- es are devoted to nine initiatives under three strategies: • Advocacy (Out-reach, Regulatory Coordination and Policy Development Initiatives): Serve as an advocate for In- diana agriculture at the local, state and federal level. • Environmental Stewardship: En- hance the stewardship of natural resourc- es on agricultural land in a manner that creates value-added opportunity for pro- ducers and assists agriculture stakehold- ers with current and future regulatory challenges. • Economic Opportunity (Hard- woods, Entrepreneurship, Livestock, In- ternational Trade and Bioenergy Initia- tives): Define and nurture economic op- portunity, including technology develop- ment, in the food, fuel and fiber sectors. Careers–Interested in a career with the Indiana State Department of Agri- culture? Check out — .gov/isda/careers/ The Divisions within ISDA - • Economic Development • Public A ffairs • Indiana FFA Association • Soil Conservation • Indiana Grain Buyers and Ware- house Licensing Agency Why a Watershed Management Plan? Many people ask: But why do we even need one? We all know that soil health and wa- ter quality are very important natural re- source concerns and that all land uses have an effect on water quality. Where there is good vegetation and little distur- bance from humans, most rainfall will soak into the soil rather than running off the ground. This allows stream flows to remain fairly steady and constant. In addition, the soil improves water quality while allowing the water to pass through. Soil filters out particles and removes posi- tion ions, and the soil bacteria and fungi transform and decomposes organic pol- lutants from the passing water. In a perfect world, soil would always remain undisturbed and vegetated. How- ever, humans need agriculture, indus- try, manufacturing, stores, courthous- es, schools, dwellings…. well you get the picture. We often need to disturb the land or change its natural state. This poses a threat to water quality. As impervious surfaces increase, stormwater runs off in- stead of infiltrating into the soil. As farm- ers work the soil to prepare a seed bed, spring rains erode the soil adding not just chemical pollutants, but sediment pollu- tion to the water. There are Best Management Practic- es (BMPs) that can help improve soil health and water quality. For instance, stores like Wal-Mart can use previous pavement in their parking lots to allow rain to infiltrate the soil rather than off in- to a stream. A farm field such as this one with water causing erosion could bene- fit from a grassed waterway. This would lessen the nutrient and sediment pollut- ant loads to our creeks and streams. But BMPs are an added expense to a budget and are often substantial. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has funding from the Clean Water Act that can help im- plement BMPs. The SWCD can request some of the funding through a grant pro- posal. This would return our tax dollars to the county in a way that addresses our water quality. But who would determine where the money goes? This is where the need for a Water- shed Management Plan ( WMP) comes in. A WMP is needed by IDEM prior to requesting any funding. Although the entire county needs addressed, IDEM works on a watershed level. This is be- cause the WMP identifies targeted areas where funding can make the best impact or "more bang for the buck" if you will. Because working with water quality is complex and there is substantial costs to address it, prioritizing restoration and protection is key. The WMP identi- fies water quality problems and propos- es solutions with a strategy for putting the solutions into action. Thus, a WMP is an efficient way to address concerns when resources are limited. To find out more about the WMP development and how target areas are determined, contact our Watershed Coordinator, Julie Loehr at 812.779.7924 or julia.loehr@in.nacd-

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