Farm management showcase planned

NEWTON TOWNSHIP – The impact of grassroots locally led conservation efforts will be highlighted as the Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District showcases on-the-farm nutrient management efforts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The free Cover Crop Demonstration Day will take place at the Houk-Sharec Farm on South Canal Street in Newton Township. Parking will be available across from 3720 S. Canal St., Newton Falls.

“This is the first-ever public event in Trumbull County focusing on both cover crops and wildlife habitat timbering,” said Mike Wilson, executive director of the Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District.

Various agricultural industry speakers – including Steve Baker, a soils expert with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Les Ober with the Ohio State University Extension and Jeff Howe of Doll Lumber – will address the value of adding cover crops to farmers’ fields during the winter as well as wildlife habitat timbering issues.

Wilson said farmer Rich Houk and his cooperative partners will demonstrate turbo till equipment as they cut up the radish tops and other surface cover at an inch-and-a-half depth to help warm the soils in order to plant earlier in the spring season. This field has a lot of Marestail, which is a nocuous (or poisonous) weed so the equipment will bury it under the ground so it doesn’t germinate.

The cover crops planted before winter consisted of Australian peas, oats, and radishes purchased from Walnut Creek Seeds in Ohio.

Wilson said the timbering, which will be highlighted, was done on the farm by Doll Lumber to hopefully bring back the woodcock population that has been missing from the area for several decades.

All of these nutrient management activities were done to help protect the Kale Creek corridor, which runs through the fields.

Wilson said the Trumbull SWCD has been participating in the 4-R Tomorrow program initiated by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Districts to teach the basic 4Rs of nutrient management – Right Type depending on the soil, Right Rate of application, Right Time of year to apply, and the Right Place to locate to avoid waterways and wildlife.