September 18, 2017

Clermont SWCD Collecting Milkweed Seed for Monarchs

Once again, to help create habitat for the monarch butterfly, Clermont SWCD is collecting milkweed seed pods at our offices in the county fairgrounds (1000 Locust Street in Owensville) from September 1 through October 31.

Milkweed is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies (it is their only food source!), and Ohio is a priority area for monarchs. The monarch butterflies that hatch here in the summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and are responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring. During September and October, everyone is encouraged to collect milkweed pods from established plants and bring them to our office.

To collect the seed pods from a milkweed plant, it is best to pick them when they are dry, gray, or brown in color (see photo). If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. It is best to collect pods into paper bags or paper grocery sacks. Avoid using plastic bags because they attract moisture. Store seeds in a cool, dry area until you can deliver it to our office. Harvesting pods from milkweed plants does not have any effect on the population of milkweed in established areas. It is recommended that you wear disposable gloves when picking and handling pods.

All milkweed pods collected during this time will be given to our partners at the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative to establish new plantings and create additional habitat for the monarch butterfly throughout Ohio.

If you have any questions about this program, you can contact Judy Krebs, Clermont SWCD Education Specialist at (513) 732-7075 x5 or at jkrebs@clermontcountyohio.gov.

Posted in: Pollinators
June 5, 2017

Thank You to Our Plant Sale Customers!

Our April Conservation Plant Sale was a success again in 2017. We sold 1,933 seedlings and about 1,000 perennial plants. We had 342 assorted tree seedlings left over which we donated to Boy Scout Camp Friedlander here in Clermont County.

Our sale is focused on Ohio native species. Do you have any ideas for trees or perennials you would like to see at future sales? We love getting suggestions from our customers and residents; we also enjoy hearing stories about trees bought 20 or 30 years ago at our sale that are now huge and thriving! Email Susie at ssteffensen@clermontcountyohio.gov or call (513) 732-7075 Ext: 102 with your suggestions.

Thank you again to both our regular customers and those new to our sale. We plan on continuing to offer plant material for homes, gardens and reforestation for years to come. We won’t be mailing out the tree sale newsletter anymore except to those who request it… our newsletters are now electronic. Be sure to notify Susie if you would like to receive paper newsletters if you haven’t already done so.

April 21, 2017

Ohio Now Accepting Applications for Declining Pollinator Populations

COLUMBUS, OH, April 18, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a new conservation effort for Ohio agriculture producers to help combat future declines of honey bees and Monarch butterflies by providing food and habitat sources. Through May 19, producers may apply for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plant cover crops, or plant milkweed, wildflowers, and native grasses in buffers and areas not in production.

More than 80 percent of the world’s plants need pollinators to survive, including many that provide the food we eat. But many pollinators like honey bees and Monarch butterflies are in trouble. That’s why NRCS works with private landowners to create food and habitat for pollinators on farms and in forests. In total, more than 3 dozen NRCS conservation practices provide benefits to pollinators.

For more information regarding the Honey Bee EQIP sign-up in Clermont or Brown County, contact Lori Lenhart, NRCS District Conservationist, at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov, or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.

April 21, 2017

Ohio Now Accepting Applications for Declining Pollinator Populations

COLUMBUS, OH, April 18, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a new conservation effort for Ohio agriculture producers to help combat future declines of honey bees and Monarch butterflies by providing food and habitat sources. Through May 19, producers may apply for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plant cover crops, or plant milkweed, wildflowers, and native grasses in buffers and areas not in production.

More than 80 percent of the world’s plants need pollinators to survive, including many that provide the food we eat. But many pollinators like honey bees and Monarch butterflies are in trouble. That’s why NRCS works with private landowners to create food and habitat for pollinators on farms and in forests. In total, more than 3 dozen NRCS conservation practices provide benefits to pollinators.

For more information regarding the Honey Bee EQIP sign-up in Clermont or Brown County, contact Lori Lenhart, NRCS District Conservationist, at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov, or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.

March 6, 2017

What’s the Buzz with USDA?

The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to pay you to do something that benefits you and the rest of the world – enhance pollinator habitat on your land!

Pollinators are a crucial part of healthy agricultural and natural landscapes. More than 30% of our food crops are pollinated by insects. Pollinators are also needed by 90% of all flowering plants, which in turn support all wildlife.

You’ve probably heard that populations of honey bees, native bees, and monarch butterflies are all in rapid decline. You can help support them by planting pollinator habitat, which helps you in three ways. It improves crop yields, reduces soil erosion while protecting water quality in streams and ponds, and in some cases gives you free assistance and money to do these things.

Example of practices:
• Whole field pollinator planting or pollinator plots
• Cover crops
• Tree/shrub plantings
• Field borders
• Filter strips

If you are interested in finding out more information, send an email to Lori Lenhart, District Conservationist, or call her at 513-732-2181 x3. Plant pollinator habitat, every little bit helps!

Posted in: Pollinators, USDA