The Daviess County Soil & Water Conservation District was formed in 1941 to provide information about soil, water and related natural resource conservation; identify and prioritize local soil and water resource concerns; and connect land users to sources of educational, technical and financial assistance to implement conservation practices and technologies.

 Office InformationOur office 250 x 188

Location: 2526 East National Highway, Washington IN 47501

 Phone: 812-254-4780,ext.3  Email: dc.swcd@daviess.org

Fax: 855-458-8769

 Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Closed weekends and holidays 

 

 

Our Mission:

To provide educational, technical and financial assistance to all Daviess County residents in order to maintain a clean and wholesome environment in which to work and live.

SWCD Awards 2016 Conservation Farmer of the YearJeremy Jerger web

Each year, the Daviess County SWCD gives special recognition to a farmer or family farm in the county who demonstrates outstanding work in managing and improving their soil and water resources by making farm stewardship one of their primary goals. This award, sponsored by Farm Bureau, is announced at the District's Annual Meeting. Due to prior plans, this year's recipient was unable to attend and just received his award recently. It is with sincere respect and appreciation that we recognize Jeremy Jerger as the Daviess County SWCD 2016 Conservation Farmer of the Year. Jeremy's commitment to conservation is evident in that he not only plants cover crops using no-till methods, but also grows his own high-quality cereal rye cover crop seed. Thank you Jeremy!

Indiana Leads the Midwest in Cover Crop Planting

INDIANAPOLIS (May 23, 2017) – According to the 2016 Fall Conservation Transect Report, Hoosier farmers planted over a million acres of cover crops for the second year in a row.

Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) says having over a million acres of planted cover crops makes Indiana the leading state in the Midwest, if not the nation.

“I’m really excited about these numbers because we also have data to show that for each acre USDA pays a farmer to plant cover crops through a Farm Bill program, another four to five acres are being planted without our cost share,” Hardisty said. “To me it’s significant because it means farmers are realizing the financial benefits of investing in the health of their soil as a farm-business decision.”

The transect is a collaborative effort between NRCS, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), Indiana’s 92 Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Earth Team Volunteers and other members of the Indiana Conservation Partnership who team up to conduct a visual assessment of cropland county by county using a predetermined route. cover crop mix growing in moderate residue crop

They collect data on tillage methods, plant cover, residue, etc. to help document a more complete story of conservation efforts in Indiana. The survey uses GPS technology and provides a statistically reliable method, and then uses USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data on crops for estimating farm management and related annual trends.

Photo shows a cover crop mix growing in moderate residue - courtesy of the Conservation Cropping Systems Inititative.

"Conservation continues to be a priority for Hoosier farmers, and this report proves that,” said Ted McKinney, ISDA Director. “By observing land use conditions and tracking these trends, we’re able to focus our attention strategically and utilize our combined resources more effectively around the state."

 Click here to see total acres planted in cover crops in 2016 in Indiana, all crops.

ISDA maintains tillage transect reports dating back to 1990 on their website at http://www.in.gov/isda/2383.htm and includes the most recent transect results.

HEL Ephemeral Gully Plan Addendum

Since the origination of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, fields designated as Highly Erodible Land (HEL) were required to control sheet and rill erosion, wind erosion, and ephemeral gully erosion to acceptable levels.

This plan addendum addresses ephemeral gully erosion control requirements to remain in compliance with the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, and is in addition to other requirements to control sheet and rill and wind erosion to acceptable levels. Not controlling all required forms of erosion could put you at risk of losing USDA farm program benefits.

Read about the Plan Addendum here.

Healthy Soil = Clear Water

covercrop 12 6

This photo was taken on Tuesday December 6, 2016, in Southwest Indiana. This field was planted in a cereal rye/tillage radish cover crop mix following corn. To be perfectly honest, it was difficult to find any water running off of this field at all, because nearly all of the rain was soaking into the soil. This photo was taken in an area of the field where three different valleys came together. The estimated drainage area at the location of this photo was about twelve acres, and this was all of the water that was running.

What is the value to you as a producer to have only clear, colorless water running away from your farm during the winter? Healthy soil is the answer. Soil health is essential to long term sustainability of highly productive soil like this. Utilizing winter cover crops like these improves the soil’s ability to absorb rain water and keeps the micro-biology within the soil alive and thriving. There are so many benefits to cover crops with very little downside. If you haven’t experimented with using winter covers yet, you really should. Talk to your local Soil and Water Conservation District office and speak with some of your neighbors that are doing it. There really can be a day when all cropland runoff water is clear and colorless and yields and production remains high.

 - Article and photo submitted by Chris Lee, NRCS

Upcoming Events

Rain Barrel Sale 

The Daviess County SWCD and the City of Washington's Stormwater Department are offering 50-gallon rain barrels for sale. Barrels are $65.00 + IN sales tax. Contact the SWCD if you are interested in purchasing a rain barrel, or print out the order form and mail it with your payment.

Click here for order form.

Client Gateway

Farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners can now do business with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through an online portal. With the launch of the Conservation Client Gateway, producers will have the ability to work with conservation planners online to access Farm Bill programs, request assistance, and track payments for their conservation activities. The Conservation Client Gateway is secure and is entirely voluntary, giving producers a choice between conducting business online or traveling to the USDA Service Center. To learn more, visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov/clientgateway

Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Natural Resources...

...But didn't know who to ask! Whether you have owned your land for a lifetime, or are a new Indiana landowner, you may have questions when it comes to land use and conservation. This is a quick guide for who to call and where to look when you have questions about natural resources and conservation on your land in Indiana.

Indiana Conservation Answer Guide

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