In Vermont sign up deadline for all 2021 EQIP contracts is March 19, 2021.
You can still sign up for EQIP after that, but you will be considered for next year.
VT Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced a top ten “high-priority” list of Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) practices. The state chose these practices to motivate producers to implement important practices that address critical resource issues but that are not as widely adopted. This is part of the 2018 Farm Bill – states were allowed as of 2020 to provide increased payment rates for up to 10 high-priority practices. These practices will be incentivized at a 90% cost payment rate. In consultation with each state’s Technical Committee, the State Conservationists designates their state’s priorities.
In Vermont, the ten priorities are: Contour Buffer Strips (332), Cover Crop – multi-species only (340), Residue & Tillage Management – reduced-tillage (345), riparian forest buffer (391), Pasture and Hay Planting (seeding down continuous corn) (512), Open Channel (582), Stripcropping (585), Nutrient Management (manure injection only) (590), Tree / Shrub Establishment (612), Phosphorus Removal System (782).
Some of these practices are probably more familiar to our audience than others, like reduced tillage. Other practices like stripcropping offer soil conservation benefits particularly on steep slopes, but are not commonly seen in our area. Open Channel refers to a two-stage ditch, and Phosphorus (P) Removal System is the installation of an end-of-pipe filter system to mitigate P losses in tile drains.
If you are interested in signing up for one of these practices, call your local NRCS office, in Middlebury – 802-388-6748. You can also call our office – 802-388-4969, if you’d like to discuss how we might assist you in getting a project implemented. NRCS accepts applications on a rolling applications but processes them in batches, sign up deadline for 2021 practices is 3/19/21.
Newsletter Highlight From Grassland Manure Injection: By The Numbers (pg. 4) With funding from VAAFM’s Clean Water Fund and the help of Ken and Debbie Hicks at Hicks Equipment, we purchased the right equipment from the Netherlands. With the expertise of Eric Severy of Matthew’s Trucking to operate it, we began demonstrating the utility of this system. Shallow slot grassland manure injection gets liquid dairy manure just two inches below the soil where it is protected from runoff during rain events while still well within the root zone where the plants will use it. Read More
Save the Date: 2021 No-Till Cover Crop Symposium March 4-5, 2021. More information coming soon. We’re joining forces with the Northeast Cover Crop Council to bring you a full day and a half of information related to no-till and cover cropping. go.uvm.edu/ntccs If you missed this year’s symposium you can also read presentation pdfs and the proceedings online.
As of right now, the UVM Agricultural and Environmental Testing Lab is still receiving manure and soil samples directly and the lab in Maine that UVM works with us is still open. However, we will not be transporting samples from our office in Middlebury to the lab in Burlington. Additionally, please understand that the manager of the lab will not be in the office every day and there many be an additional delay in processing samples. Call the lab at 802-656-3030 if you have questions.
Manure Samples: It’s nearing time for manure spreading… and also manure sampling! The best time to sample manure to get an accurate sample is right when you are about to spread it.
We ask that you sample, freeze and hold on to manure sample(s) for a future date
to be analyzed when we can transport it to the lab. Manure can be sent
in the mail, but it’s more ideal to just hold on to it. If you need a
timely result, call the lab, you may be able to send it directly to
Manure can be frozen for months, just make sure you leave enough space in the jar for expansion.
manure jars will be left in the sample box at the entrance of our
office, but any plastic quart jar could work – do not use glass jars.
Our fact sheet on how to take a manure sample can be found here.
The form for manure sample analysis can be found here.
While we recommend soil sampling at the same time each year, given circumstances, if you can wait to sample it is advised to do so. If you do need an analysis, you can direct mail your soil sample(s).
There will be soil test kits left in the sample box at the entrance of our office, but any clean sandwich type plastic bag will work. You only need 1/2 to 1 cup of soil per sample – over doing it doesn’t help the lab and costs you money. Just make sure you take adequate sub-samples, mix your soil sample well, and send a representative mix. Soil probes will not be available until a future date.
The form and instructions for soil sample analysis can be found here.
If you have any questions about manure and soil sampling you can still give our office a call, and someone will get back to you – 802-388-4969.
Did you know you need to update your NMP every year to stay in compliance with the State of Vermont Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs)?
If your plan is out of date or you need assistance in updating your nutrient management plan, UVM Extension can help!!
If you took a NMP class through UVM and designed your plan in goCrop, please call the office where you took your original NMP class, or contact your closest location (listed below). You will need manure sample results every year, soil sample results every three years, and field records of the activities you performed annually. You may also need updated rotation calculations, depending on your situation. UVM Extension can help you identify everything you need and walk you through the process of getting it accomplished.
The three locations that can help you are:
Middlebury Extension Office – 802-388-4969 or 1-800-956-1125
St. Albans Extension office – 802-524-6501 or 1-800-639-2130
St. Johnsbury Extension office – 802-751-8307 or 1-800-545-8920 (800 numbers toll free in Vt.).
At Middlebury UVM Extension Office
23 Pond Lane Suite 300, Middlebury, Vt
we are holding update sessions on the following days:
These sessions are for folks who have already taken a class with UVM Extension. If you have not taken a class with us, but would like help, give us a call.
Our sessions are informal. Please bring a lunch or snack if you need it to keep you going!
We have laptops, or you can bring your own. Remember to bring your NMP binder along with any records and documentation, including your login information. If your goCrop account is out of date you will need to renew your subscription with debit or credit card. If you have any other paperwork that is related to an updated NMP, such as MFO/LFO permitting, bring that along too. If you have new fields, you will need new maps and field information, including yearly and average RUSLE2 calculations.
[Past- Middlebury, VT October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 2018]
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
The fee is $40 which includes The Art and Science of Grazing book by Sarah Flack. This class is for farmers who currently own livestock and want to create, improve or expand their pasture management system.
Want to change from confinement or set rotation to management intensive grazing?
Have a grazing plan, but want to better understand how to implement it?
Need grazing infrastructure (e.g. fence, water, animal trails) and would like to design a system that may qualify for NRCS financial assistance?
Pasture plant identification of common species, looking at favorable growth conditions, and how plants respond to grazing impact.
Pasture nutrition and how it can affect grazing behavior and overall intake and animal performance.
Grazing management concepts such as measuring dry matter availability, determining paddock sizes, stocking rate versus stocking density and overall acreage requirements.
Soil health in pasture systems and the benefits of soil, forage and manure testing to understand nutrient cycling and nutrient management within pasture systems.
Pasture system design to determine infrastructure needs and management techniques to avoid overgrazing damage, decreased carrying capacity and other negative impacts.
Grazing record keeping systems and the benefits of monitoring and documenting activities
In addition to 4 class dates, there will also be opportunity for one-on-one consultation.