Public event focuses on cover crops

The impact of grassroots locally led conservation efforts will be highlighted as the Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District will showcase on-the-farm nutrient management efforts.

The public is invited to attend a free Cover Crop Demonstration Day at the Houk-Sharec Farm on South Canal Street in Newton Township from 1 to 4 p.m. April 26. Look for parking signs 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.

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 farmer’s fields during the winter as well as wildlife habitat timbering issues.

Farmer Rich Houk and his cooperative partners will demonstrate with 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 noctuous weed, so the equipment will bury it underground so it won’t germinate.

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

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

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

This is a free public event thanks to the sponsorships of Farm Credit Services, Walnut Creek Seeds, and W.I. Miller & Sons. Various industry displays will also be featured at this event.

The Trumbull SWCD has been participating in the 4-R Tomorrow program initiated by the Ohio Federation of Soil & Water Districts to teach the basic 4Rs of nutrient management consisting of the 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.

Mike Wilson is executive director / administrator Trumbull County Soil and Water Conservation District and Trumbull Regional Storm Water Management District.