Stay Cool in the Shade and Read Our Summer Newsletter

In This Issue:

See the full pdf here

Spring Newsletter is Here!

View the Newsletter Here (pdf link)

In This Issue:

  • Focus on Agriculture, by Jeff Carter
  • News, Events & Info You Should Know
  • Opportunities for Grazing Funding, by Cheryl Cesario
  • Grassland Manure Injection: By The Numbers, by Kirsten Workman
  • Two Bedrock Professors Retiring: Will Be Missed in Jeffords Hall and Beyond
  • End of Gypsum Project Leaves us with Important Lessons and Questions, by Kristin Williams
  • USDA Authorized Flexibilities Help Producers During the Coronavirus Pandemic, by Jake Jacobs
  • Notes on the Wild Side, by Jeff Carter

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.

NMP Update Sessions

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If your plan is out of date or you need assistance in updating your nutrient management plan, UVM Extension can help!!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.

Contact our office for more details, 802-388-4969.       

To request a disability related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Karen Gallott at (802) 388-4969 or 1-800-956-1125 (toll-free in Vt. only) so we may assist you.

Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition Annual Meeting and Dinner

January 22, 2020

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Middlebury Vetrans of Foreign Wars, 530 Exchange St, Middlebury, VT 05753

Come celebrate with the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition (CVFC) as we begin a new year! Come hear about our work as an organization, our direction for this next year, and of course an evening program and entertainment that will be both fun and informative!

RSVP for the dinner by January 15! RSVP here

Cash bar and Social time at 5:30 p.m., dinner is served at 6:15 p.m., program starts at 7:00 p.m.

This is an opportunity to keep CVFC Members up to speed about current ‘hot topics’ facing the Vermont landscape and their vision of how Agriculture fits into the future of our state. Bring your questions for a good conversation!

Questions? You can also call the Middlebury Extension office at 802-388-4969.

To request a disability related accommodation, please contact Karen Gallott at 802-388-4969 or email karen.gallott@uvm.edu by January 15th so we may assist you.

2019 Conservation Farmer of the Year

November 5, 2019; 10:00 am – 2:00 pm  

At the Addison Fire Station, 44 VT Rte 17, Addison, VT  

The Otter Creek Natural Resource Conservation District (NRCD) recently named the Correia Family, owners of Wynsum Holstein’s, as the 2019 Conservation Farmer of the Year and will be hosting an event to honor the family.   

There will be a free lunch, but please RSVP by October 18, to Pam Stefanek at Pam.Stefanek@vt.nacdnet.net   

Tony and Barbara, along with their sons Jeff and Stephen, manage a herd of over 400 Holstein’s at their medium sized operation in Addison, Vermont. Their farm is in the McKenzie Brook Watershed, which was identified as a priority area of focus for USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The Correia’s work closely with conservationists and have developed a conservation plan in partnership with the NRCS and Otter Creek NRCD. They grow corn, grasses, and alfalfa, and practice no-till, reduced-till and cover cropping. They have also worked with NRCS to install a rock-lined grassed waterway. Wynsum is named after an old English word for “pleasant natured”, and forty-five years after it was first founded, the family remains committed to conserving natural resources on and around their operation.

Financial Opportunities for Farmers and other Reminders

Funding for Farm Equipment

The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has just announced that funding is available for farmers in the Capital Equipment Assistance Program (CEAP). Financial assistance is available for new or used innovative equipment that will aid in the reduction of surface runoff of agricultural wastes into State waters, improve water quality of State waters, reduce odors from manure application, separate phosphorus from manure, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce costs to farmers.   You can learn more about the program on VAAFM website or by printing the CEAP Program Factsheet.

All CEAP Applications DUE (or postmarked by), November 1, 2019.

If you have questions about applying for CEAP funds you can contact VAAFM 802-622-4098. If you have questions about applying for CEAP funds you can also give our office a call at 802-388-4969.

Reminder – Current Use Deadline

Annual certification of agricultural land and farm buildings is upcoming. All owners of agricultural land and/or farm buildings that are also enrolled in the Current Use Program, must annually certify that their agricultural land and farm buildings meet the requirements of enrollment and continue to be eligible for the program.

You should have received an Agricultural Certification form in the mail in late September and the certification submission deadline is November 1, 2019.

You may certify online. Instructions should have been included in your mailings. Additional information about certification is online.
If landowners are not sure whether or not they need to submit a certification, scroll down the webpage listed above to the “Find My Span” box. If you have questions, call the Current Use Program at (802) 828-5860.

Working Lands Program

The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has just announced that funding is available for farmers through the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEB). You can learn more about the program online.

Pre-application period begins October 8, 2019 and is due November 3, 2019. Invited full applications are due January 26, 2020.

*Dairy-Focused Funds: For this grant round, Working Lands has $500,000 to specifically target projects from dairy farm applicants. This funding will be allocated across business grant categories, and projects from $5,000 – $150,000 are eligible.

The WLEB has interpreted this legislative mandate by outlining eligible activity areas, details of which can be found on the website, but include diversification, value-added and innovative solutions to soil health and water quality. Contact Working Lands staff with questions at (802) 622-4477. If you have questions about applying for WLEB funds you can also give our office a call at 802-388-4969. 

Water Quality Grants for Farmers

This opportunity is funded through the state and offered from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB). The Viability Program provides grants of up to $40,000 to help Vermont farmers invest in water quality-related on-farm infrastructure. Any Vermont farm with a gross farm income of $15,000 or more that is required to comply with Vermont’s Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) is eligible to apply. For more information about the program visit their website.

All Applications DUE November 8, 2019 (the next round will be February 7, 2020).

If you have questions about applying for a VHCB Water Quality Grant call VHCB at 802-828-5587. If you have questions about applying for VHCB funds you can also give our office a call at 802-388-4969.

Buffers and Waterways Field Day

Join us Wednesday, October 16

11:00 am – 1:00 pm  

At Mountain Meadows Farm at corner of Vail Rd and Old Sawmill Rd, Sudbury, VT follow signs to the field.  

Grassed waterways and buffers are conservation practices that prevent erosion and nutrient runoff from happening in fields. Join Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition (CVFC) President, Brian Kemp, at his farm in Sudbury-Orwell to see how he has used grassed waterways and buffers on his farm. We will discuss how these practices can be implemented and maintained, view both annual and perennial fields with waterways, ditch buffers and a stream buffer along the Lemon Fair. We will also talk with our partners at the Natural Resource Conservation Service(NRCS) to hear about potential funding for these practices as well. See our flyer here. Or call our office at (802) 388-4969

See our flyer here

To request a disability related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Karen Gallott at (802) 388-4969 or 1-800-956-1125 (toll free in Vt. only) so we may assist you.

Warm Up with a Cup of Coffee and Our Winter Newsletter!

View Our Entire Newsletter Here!

In This Issue:

  • Focus on Agriculture, by Jeff Carter
  • News, Events & Info You Should Know
  • New Revenue Protection For Dairy Farmers, by Jake Jacobs
  • East Creek and McKenzie Brook Highlight 2018, by Kristin Williams
  • Reducing Farm Labor and Conservation Resources: Conservation Farmer of the Year Uses Cover Crops and No-Till
  • Grassland Manure Injection, by Kirsten Workman
  • Year in Review, Summary of Projects

View Past Newsletter Publications.

Updates on Tile Legislation and Tile Webinar Series

Two recent updates on Tile Drainage:

First, if you missed it, the Northwest Crop and Soil team organized a webinar series on tile drainage that is well worth checking out. It details why tile drainage is an agronomic tool, and covers research locally and across the US on how tile may affect water quality. There are also factsheets on pre-installation and tile maintenance.

Find all that HERE!

Second, VAAFM has just filed adopted tile drainage rule.

Here is the press release:

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

VAAFM Files Adopted Subsurface Tile Drainage Water Quality Rule

RAPs amended to include language addressing nutrient contributions from subsurface tile drainage.

November 14, 2018 / Montpelier, VT – On Thursday, November 8, 2018, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) filed the adopted rule amendment to the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) with the ;Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) and the Secretary of State (SOS).  The amendment includes requirements for reducing nutrient contributions to waters of the State from subsurface tile drainage on agricultural fields.  The new rule will become effective November 23, 2018.

Subsurface tile drainage removes excess water from agricultural soils below the surface, usually through a system of plastic piping (image attached).  The rule amendment was adopted on November 8, 2018 and will take effect on November 23, 2018. The requirements of the rule amendment include the required installation of rodent guards on subsurface tile drainage outlets installed or modified after January 1, 2019, the prohibition of new installation of surface inlets located within or next to cropland following the effective date of the amendment, and other provisions focused on reducing nutrient losses from subsurface tile drainage.

The formal rule amendment process began in January 2018 when the Agency pre-filed the proposed amendment with the Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules (ICAR). ICAR reviewed an amended pre-filing set on February 12, 2018. VAAFM made several recommended changes and formally filed the proposed rule on February 28, 2018. Prior to initiating the formal rule amendment process, the Agency was engaged in various discussions and nine meetings to gather feedback pertaining to the content of the amendment, involving 190 attendees that provided insight as the rule amendment process began.

Following the filing of the proposed rule, the Agency held a public comment period which ran from February 28, 2018 through April 20, 2018. During this time frame, the Agency held three public hearings in St. Albans, Montpelier, and Middlebury to gather additional feedback on the proposed rule, in which 33 interested individuals attended. Overall, the Agency received over 50 written and emailed comments on the proposed rule amendment. The final proposed rule was filed with LCAR on August 21, 2018. The Agency attended three LCAR review hearings on September 6, 2018, September 20, 2018, and October 18, 2018. On October 18, 2018, the LCAR voted 8-1 to approve the subsurface tile drainage rule amendment.

The adopted rule amendment, an updated RAP Rule, the responsiveness summary to public comments received, and other pertinent information can be found at: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/rap-tile-rule

For more information on agricultural subsurface tile drainage, please see the Vermont Subsurface Agricultural Tile Drain Report prepared by VAAFM and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/sites/ag/files/pdf/water_quality/Research/TD-Report/Vermont-Subsurface-Agricultural-Tile-Drain-Report-01312017.pdf

Please direct any questions regarding the proposed amendment or the RAPs to agr.waterquality@vermont.gov or call (802) 272-0323.