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May 29

Virtual Farm Workshop and New Cover Crop Cost Share Program

Posted on May 29, 2020 at 12:17 PM by Allan Warren

Pasture Management Farm Tour
Monday, June 22, 3:00pm - 5:00pm, Roy

We had hoped to host this as an in-person farm tour, but the timeline of the phased reopening looks like it be possible. Please register here and we'll send you the link to join the tour via video conference.

Walk the fields of a 50-acre former dairy turned beef cattle, horse, and hay farm in Roy with Marty Chaney, Agronomist with the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, Gudrun Mahrt, a sales representative from Columbia River Carbonates, Warwick Bryant, a custom farmer and sheep and hay grower from the Key Peninsula, and Rene’ Skaggs Farm Resource Specialist with the Pierce Conservation District to review the importance of soil analysis, addressing drainage or irrigation considerations, and to discuss the connection between healthy forage growth and weed competition.

Learn how to correctly assess existing production levels, identify common weed species and control methods, accurately determine nutrient application rates, and maximize forage outputs. This tour will be available in a virtual format via Facebook Live and Zoom, and a recording of the tour will also be available after the event.

As our cover crop program enters its third year, we are excited to pilot a new cost share program to support farmers using cover crops. Whether you are an experienced cover cropper looking to try a new seeding mix or you are interested in trying cover crops for the first time, this program is for you! PCD is offering 75% cost share, up to $150/acre, for cover crop seedings in 2020. Eligible expenses include seed, inoculant, fertilizer, labor and equipment rental for establishing cover crops. Steps to access this program are:
  1. Work with a PCD farm planner to fill out a simple jobsheet for your cover crop seeding.
  2. Seed your cover crop and receive your cost share reimbursement. 
  3. Share what you learn! Complete a short evaluation with a PCD planner after you terminate your cover crop planting to capture successes and lessons learned that PCD can use with our cover crop network. An important goal for the cost share program is provide a mechanism to capture ways farmers in Pierce County are using cover crops to better inform PCD’s technical outreach and field trial collaborations with WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center. 
And don’t forget PCD has a no-till seed drill available to borrow! At a 6 foot working width theSeed Drill drill is ideal for any cover crop application if you have a minimum 40 HP tractor with rear remote hydraulics to run it. We also have a flail mower available to borrow as an option for terminating cover crops and leaving residue evenly chopped and distributed.

Please see our cover crop assistancepage for information on these programs and to access our list of favorite cover cropping resources, and contact: Alison at AlisonN@piercecd.org or (253) 845-9770 ext. 132 for more information.