Gibson Co. / Trenton, TN was the site for a recent field training and construction field day that was held on a beef cattle farm owned by Cleve Crook on Dec. 5th, 2019. The field day was sponsored by Tennessee Department of Agriculture and The Gibson County Soil Conservation District. The event was targeted to employees in the area to see how contractors & livestock producers, frost free waterer installation, HUA & livestock pipeline should be constructed to meet NRCS standards and specs. This training proved very valuable to the newer employees who have never seen these type practices installed and given new insight to seasoned employees that forgot a step in the construction process of these practices. Approximately 60 people attended this event. Doug Taylor with TDA, Doug Davis / Gibson Co. SCD Chairman, Tammy Swihart / NRCS State Grazing Specialist, along with Gregg Brann / TACD Grazing Specialist & Clay Brewer / Stay Tuff Fencing Representative attended the event. NRCS Resource Conservationists / Matthew Denton & Gary Blackwood from the Jackson Area Office welcomed the attendees to the livestock construction training site. Gibson County NRCS District Conservationist / Dustin Graham kicked the training off by explaining how to install a cattle livestock pipeline by hooking onto a county water source supply or a well and properly plumb it up with a 10’ x 10’ Heavy Use Area, HUA so that a frost-free cattle waterer could be mounted onto the HUA. These practices had already been started prior to this field day and the pipeline trench had been left open for viewing. The HUA pad had already been sub graded down 6”, 8 oz. geo cloth fabric laid, and 33-C limestone rock put in place on half of the pad that was around the 10’ x 10’ HUA / 2” x 10” treated boards were used for this to form a square for the concrete pad. A 15” black, double wall pipe had been left standing up in the center of the HUA pad to show how it works as a heat well so that the waterer does not freeze up during the winter by upward air flow from geothermal heat. While the group went off to a separate pasture site on the farm, the producer finished filling the HUA with 33-C limestone rock for later viewing.
Next, the group was entertained by Tammy Swihart and Gregg Brann who showed the group what to look for in a pasture while doing the step & point method to come up with a pasture condition score for a given pasture. The group then broke off in groups and went out and came up with a pasture condition score for the site. After this had been done, we all met back up with Tammy & Gregg. They then had a hole dug out with a shovel to show how to go through and complete the soils portion of the overall score.
The group then went back to view the HUA site and see how it would look with the gravel all spread and in place. Besides being able to see the concrete be poured and the frost-free water tank mounted to the center of the HUA, the group got to see how these practices were implemented.
Next, the group got to watch Clay Brewer, representative with Stay Tuff Fencing Company start a section of fence that would go across the center of the waterer to separate it so it could be used by the cattle from each side of the pastures. Clay demonstrated how to install the brace pens and H-Brace assemblies from a treated post that had been set outside of where the concrete would be poured. He then showed how to properly wrap the woven wire around the post and fasten off so that the fence could be stretched. Next, Clay showed how to stretch approximately 100 feet of fence in the correct direction according to how the H – brace assemblies were installed.
Lastly, the group drove back to the Trenton NRCS field office and enjoyed a catered meal together.
The Trenton Office staff, along with Dyer & Henry County Field Office staff, participated in a two-day, county wide ag day event for all 4th graders in the Gibson County Special School District held at the local fairgrounds in Trenton on September 10th & 11th. A total of 8 different schools which included a home school group participated in the two-day event totaling over 520 students. The Gibson County Ag Day was sponsored by the Gibson County Farm Bureau Women, Gibson Co. SCD, and UT/TSU Extension Service-AgrAbility. The purpose of the festival was to acclimate the students to the Agriculture industry to teach them where our food comes from, and how to manage and take care of what Mother Nature has provided.
The Trenton Field Office presented the Water Quality demonstration for the students. Todd Reynolds, Soil Conservationist Trenton Field Office, Luke Hemby, Gibson Co. SCD County Technician, Emily Pope, Soil Conservationist – Dyersburg Field Office, Ryan Winchester; Soil Conservationist - Paris Field Office & Ryan Blackwood, Soil Conservationist, assisted with this tour over the two-day period. The rainfall simulator was used to demonstrate the raindrop impact, runoff and infiltration that occurs on the different landscapes in the county. Soil pans were taken from a conventional tilled corn crop with no residue present, pasture & a no-till corn crop with heavy residue. The students were involved to let them determine which land use had the greatest runoff and infiltration rates. The clarity and muddiness of the runoff was discussed, and the students learned that soil lost to erosion was the contributor to the muddy water that they might see after a rain event when traveling or maybe even near where they live. The students learned the importance of keeping a cover/residue on the land, especially through the winter months. Additionally, the students were shown how to pace their steps to measure distances in the field. They were also shown a laser level, dumpy level and a survey rod. We demonstrated how we would survey in the field to attain survey shots that might be used to aid in the design of an erosion control structure. The students also got to look through the dumpy instrument to read the correct number on the survey rod.
USDA Announces Sign-Up Period for Updated Conservation Stewardship Program
Deadline to be considered for funding is May 10, 2019
TRENTON, April 8, 2019 – The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year (FY) 2019 is May 10, 2019. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level.
“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Sheldon Hightower, Tennessee NRCS State Conservationist. “It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”
While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by May 10, 2019, to ensure their applications are considered for 2019 funding.
The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023, and it makes some important improvements to the program. These updates include:
CSP is offered in Tennessee through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.
For additional information about CSP, contact your local USDA service center at: 1252 Manufacturers Row, Trenton, TN 38382.
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