County AG Report: Southern Aroostook Field Days

County Ag Report: Southern Aroostook Field Days
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:34 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 7:57 AM EDT
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County Ag Report: Field Days
County Ag Report: Field Days(WAGM-TV)

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The COVID-19 pandemic limited many in-person workshops offered by the Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. This year they’ve announced the upcoming field days, in hopes more attendance will return back to pre-pandemic levels. Rob Koenig explains what the conservation district is planning in this week’s County Ag Report.

The Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District is responsible for providing information to the community about different projects they have been a part of. One of the programs the district has found works well are field days, in which community members are invited to sign up to hear from different speakers about topics and projects the conservation district has been working on and studying. Angie Wotton has worked for the district for a while, and says this has been one of the longer stretches of time without a field day.

“We do a lot of educational classes, but the really the last big field day that we had was part of a cover crop soil health grant, the conservation and innovation grant, that was in 2017.”

With field days well overdue, the district has planned two different field days for August10th and 11th. The first day in Houlton looks to focus more on irrigation management, soil health, and water source conservation. With multiple speakers lined up, Wotton says it looks to be a day full of information.

“Determining the right equipment for your farm is one of the topics. We’re going to have Lynwood Winslow from MPG speak to this because he’s out in the field working with farmers… best use of water resources you know whether it’s wells or ponds or existing water sources, it gets pretty confusing. Then also like when to apply and how much, that’s also super important, especially if you’re running a diesel pump and everything is money, also labor, there’s all these other additional costs… and then Bee Chim from the corporate extension is also going to be bringing a couple of moisture sensors… At both field days we’ll also have the NRCS rain simulator, and do a demonstration of that, which I’m really looking forward to.”

The second day down in Smyrna has just as much information related to adaptive grazing.

“Adaptive grazing, Jonas has planted different lots of single species covers for grazing, and then he’ll do a multispecies. So, we’ll do a pasture walk. high-density grazing, you know where cows are rotated pretty much daily. We’re also going to have as an additional speaker Simon Alexander who is a veterinarian. He is going to talk about how improved soil health, improved pastures can benefit your animal health.”

Additional Information:

Managing Irrigation for Crop Improvement, Soil Health, and Water Source Conservation

August 10th, 2022 - Fitzpatrick Farms, 109 Jordan Road, Houlton, ME

Dale Strickler - Agronomist for Green Cover Seed
Lynwood Winslow - Manager, MPG
George McLaughlin - Agricultural Engineer, Maine Potato Board
Greg Granger - Soil Scientist, Maine NRCS
Bill Sheehan - Director, DEP
Bee Chim - Agronomist, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Topics Covered:
Determining the Right Equipment for Your Farm
Types of Equipment Available & Local Growers Experience
Role of Soil Health In Irrigation
Best use of Water Resources
NRCS Rain Simulator Demonstration
Siting Ponds
Moisture Sensor Demo.

Register Online HERE or call (207) 254-4126

Better Soils Through Adaptive Grazing

August 11th, 2022 - Moosehead Ranch, 50 Upward Trail, Smyrna, ME

Dale Strickler - Agronomist for Green Cover Seed, a leader in
the soil health movement. Dale also owns a cattle ranch in
Kansas, putting into practice his knowledge about creating better soil.
Jonas Esch - Moosehead Ranch
Simon Alexander, DVM - Exeter Veterinary Services
Topics Covered:
Grazing with Cover Crops
High Density Grazing Demonstration
Plots with Cover Crops
Diversity vs. Single Species
Bale Grazing
Integrating Livestock Into Crop Rotation
Pasture Walk
Soil Health as a Benefit to Animal Health
NRCS Rain Simulator Demo

Register Online HERE or call (207) 254-4126

More information on both field days can be found on the Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District’s Website.

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