CONSERVATION PRACTICES

WHY ARE COVER CROPS REALLY SO IMPORTANT?

 

* REDUCES SOIL COMPACTION        * PREVENTS SOIL EROSION     

*CONSERVES SOIL MOISTURE          * ATTRACTS BENEFICIAL INSECTS

* INCREASES ORGANIC MATTER        * CREATES FIXED NITROGEN       

*SUPPRESSES WEEDS       *MICROBIAL LIFE DISCOURAGES DISEASES      

*PROVIDES EXCELLENT FORAGE FOR GRAZING FOR LIVESTOCK DURING WINTER MONTHS

SOIL HEALTH & EROSION MANAGEMENT

 

 

 STREAM PROTECTION- KEEPING LIVESTOCK OUT OF WATERWAYS. BUILDING FENCING AROUND STREAMS & CREEKS ON LAND. BUFFER ZONE ALONG BANK FILTERS RUNOFF AND ABSORBS EXCESS NUTRIENTS & CHEMICALS. 

 

NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT- APPLYING THE CORRECT AMOUNT AND FORM OF PLANT NUTRIENTS TO FIELDS TO REDUCE THE POTENTIAL FOR NUTRIENTS TO GO UNUSED AND WASH OR INFILTRATE INTO WATER SUPPLIES. THIS INCLUDES SOIL TESTING AND MANURING TESTING. IT CAN REDUCE INPUT COSTS, IMPROVE SOIL TILTH AND ORGANIC MATTER. 

 

CROP-RESIDUE MANAGEMENT/NO-TILL - LEAVING LAST YEAR'S CROP RESIDUE ON THE SURFACE BEFORE AND DURING PLANTING OPERATIONS PROVIDES COVER FOR THE SOIL AT A CRITICAL TIME OF THE YEAR. IT ACTS AS A SHIELD FROM RAIN AND WIND UNTIL NEW PLANTS CAN THRIVE ON THEIR OWN. THIS PREVENTS SOIL EROSION AND

IMPROVES WATER QUALITY. ALSO REDUCES SOIL COMPACTION AND LABOR SAVING. 

 

RIPARIAN BARRIERS - A STRATEGIC PLANTED TIER OF TREES, SHRUBS AND PLANTS PLACED BETWEEN CROPS AND WATERWAY TO CONTROL FLOODING AND RUNOFF THAT ALSO FILTERS POLLUTANTS AND CHEMICALS FROM THE WATER BEFORE IT REACHES THE STREAM BANK.

 

NATIVE TREE PLANTING - NATIVE TREES INCREASE LONG TERM WILDLIFE HABITATS, PROTECTS WATER QUALITY BY FILTERING EXCESS NUTRIENTS  AND CHEMICALS FROM SURFACE RUNOFF, CREATE GROUND COVER THAT PROTECT SOIL FROM RILL AND SHEET EROSION AND CAN INCREASE LANDOWNER PROFITS.

 

GRADE CONTROL STRUCTURES - STRUCTURE BUILT ACROSS A GRASSED WATERWAY OR DRAINWAY TO CONTROL AND REDUCE WATER FLOW. PREVENTS GULLY EROSION, GIVES BETTER WATER QUALITY FOR HABITAT AND LIVESTOCK. 

 

TERRACE BUILDING AND DIVERSIONS - EARTH EMBANKMENTS AROUND HILLSIDES THAT STOPS AND STORES WATER FLOW UNTIL THE GROUND CAN ABSORB IT. SLOWS RUNOFF. IMPROVES SOIL & WATER QUALITY.  

 

MAINTAINING & MANAGING GROUND COVERS IN WOODED AREAS - GROUND COVERS LIKE LEAVES, STICKS AND FALLEN TREES ARE PART OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND GOOD FOR FORESTS AND WILDLIFE. THEY PROVIDE WILDLIFE HABITATS, REDUCE SOIL EROSION AND IMPROVE WATER QUALITY. DO NOT BURN THESE UNLESS YOU NEED TO, LEAVE THEM TO DEGRADE INTO NEW SOIL. 

 

WINDBREAKS - PLANTING TREES AND SHRUBS IN ROWS TO ESTABLISH WINDBREAKS IN AREAS ON LAND THAT CAN REDUCES WIND EROSION, CAN ALSO CONSERVE ENERGY, REDUCE HEATING COSTS AND IMPROVE LIVESTOCK WEIGHT GAINS IN WINTER. 

 

REMOVE INVASIVES - MORE INFORMATION ON THE IMPORTANCE ON THIS BELOW

WATER QUALITY CONSERVATION

 

*Please remember that what we do with our soil does also effect our water. The best steps to water conservation is first steps to soil conservation. 

 

FILTER STRIPS - STRIPS OF GRASS, TREES OR SHRUBS THAT SLOW DOWN AND FILTER RUNOFF AND REMOVE CONTAMINANTS LIKE SEDIMENT, CHEMICALS AND NUTRIENTS BEFORE THEY REACH WATER BODIES OR WATER SOURCES SUCH AS WELLS. ALSO IMPROVES SOIL EROSION ALONG BANKS.

 

MANURE STORAGE STRUCTURES- KEEPING MANURE  STORED IN A STRUCTURE OR FACILITY TO KEEP FROM RUNOFF GETTING INTO WATER BODIES. REDUCES NUTRIENT LOSS AND PROTECTS WATER QUALITY. EVEN IF A MANURE STRACTURE LIKE THIS IS NOT NEEDED. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO STORE MANURE FAR AWAY FROM WATER WAYS OR WELLS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND ON A CONCRETE PAD IF POSSIBLE. THIS PREVENTS LEACHING OR SOIL POLLUTING.

 

WE LOVE OUR ANIMALS BUT....

LIVESTOCK MANURE IS HAZARDOUS FOR WATER QUALITY.

 

  YOUR DRINKING WATER AT HOME

* Home Water Test Kits

* Reverse Osmosis for Home Treatment of Drinking Water

* Bacterial Contamination of Household Water

* Lead in Drinking Water

* Nitrate in Indiana's Ground Water

THE TROUBLE WITH INVASIVES PLANTS

 

AN "INVASIVE" PLANT IS A NON-NATIVE PLANT THAT INFESTS NATURAL AREAS AND CAUSES ENVIRONMENTAL OR ECONOMIC HARM, OR HARM TO HUMAN HEALTH. 

 

* OF THE 2,900 PLANT SPECIES GROWING IN INDIANA,

   ROUGHLY 33% ARE INVASIVE.

* DESTROY HABITATS FOR NATIVE FLOWERS AND PLANTS

*DECREASE WILDLIFE AND INSECT POPULATIONS

* DECREASE THE ABILITY TO ENJOY HUNTING, FISHING, MUSHROOM     COLLECTING, OTHER RECREATIONS AND CHOKE WATERWAYS.

 

    INSTEAD OF ENGLISH IVY - PLANT WILD GINGER

 

  *COMMON TYPES: ASIAN BUSH (JAPANESE) HONEY SUCKLE,

    BRADFORD PEAR TREE, ENGLISH IVY, CANADA THISTLE,

    GARLIC MUSTARD, TREE OF HEAVEN, SWEET AUTUMN CLEMATIS.

 

FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THESE LINKS BELOW:

 

INVASIVE IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL:

https://www.sicim.info/landowner-toolkit

http://www.invasive.org./

 

LANDSCAPING WITH NON-INVASIVE PLANTS:

https://ww.indiananativeplants.org/landscaping/


REPORTING INVASIVE SPECIES IN INDIANA:

https://www.in.gov/dnr/rules-and-regulations/invasive-species/

https://www.eddmaps.org://org/indiana/

 

NITRATE AND NUTRIENT POLLUTION

 

High levels of Nitrate and Phosphorus in our soil and waterways can lead to an imbalance in ecosystems. Nutrient pollution is one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, and is caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air, water and soil. Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water causes algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to survive. Nutrient pollution in ground water - which millions of people in the United States use as their drinking water source - can be harmful, even at low levels. When excess nitrogen comes back to Earth from the atmosphere as rain water, it can harm the health of forests, soils and waterways, creating a perpetual cycle of pollution.

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