The Hatfield Brothers including Mark, Lowell, and Ernie are located in Franklin Township. They have been farming in the Felicity area since the mid 1970s. From the beginning, they have been exploring different ways to improve their farming operations, especially from the conservation side of things. Currently, the Hatfields farm around 1000 acres, all of it no-till, and practice conservation crop rotation, but they have placed a special focus on cover crops.
Showing their imaginative and innovative side, they have modified their combine by adding seeder boxes and seed tubes, so that during harvest, the cover crop seeds are planted in between the crop rows. For the past two years, they have successfully planted cover crops on every field they farm.
They have always been willing to share information on their unique planting method at field days hosted by Soil and Water, and Ernie Hatfield was one of five farmers highlighted in our Cover Crop Farmers of Southwest Ohio booklet.
The Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District commends the Hatfield Brothers for their stewardship efforts, and for being active partners in helping to protect the land and valuable natural resources of the county.
Fair goers were given the opportunity to meet (and play) with representatives from the Clermont SWCD along with ODNR Division of Wildlife and Parks, Brown County Beekeepers, National Wild Turkey Federation, Clermont County Parks, Ohio Trappers, and USDA-APHIS-Asian Longhorn Beetle experts during the Natural Resources Day held at the Clermont County Fair. Archery, BB-guns, reptiles, and other exhibits were on display along with our own stream table (see photo on right) and paper recycling station for people to interact with.
Thanks to everybody who stopped in and made it our largest event to date!
In June, 2014, Governor Kasich signed the agricultural fertilizer applicator certification law (Senate Bill 150), requiring farmers who fertilize 50 acres or more to become certified by September 30, 2017. Under the certification law, fertilizer is considered to be any substance containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or other plant nutrient in a dry or liquid formulation. Lime and limestone are not considered fertilizers.
All application types (broadcast, side dress, sub-surface, knifing, etc.) are included in the certification requirement. The only application exempted is start-up fertilizers applied through a planter. All certifications will be valid for three years. After the deadline, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will conduct random record audits.
Algae, especially hazardous algae blooms, across the state was the main reason for this law to be enacted. Aquatic habitat health, recreational value and drinking water are inhibited by high nutrient amounts in our waters. This is a problem that affects everyone within the watershed where these issues occur.
Nutrient problems are not just related to agriculture, we affect water quality at the household also. Anything we apply to the landscape can be washed into our streams when not done properly. Nutrients from landscaping activities, failing septic systems, and erosion all can contribute to water quality degradation and lead to algae blooms in our water bodies. Remember, things that enter a stream are natural only if we don’t put them there (leaves for example). Below is a list of a few things that can be done to improve our water nutrient problems.
Come join us on September 23 for a naturalist guided canoe adventure down the East Fork of the Little Miami River to search for beaver, wood ducks, turtles, and other aquatic wildlife. We’ll make a brief stop on the Wilson Nature Preserve island before ending at Sycamore Park. After the trip, grab a kick net and help us collect aquatic insects to determine the quality of the water in the river. Participants will be given a brief safety demonstration before entering the water.
Saturday September 23, 2017
2 time slots for canoe trips:
9:00-11:00 am or 11:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Meet at Sycamore Park
*Preregistration is required. Call 513-732-7075 x-102 to register before September 23rd, spots limited.
Participants must sign a waiver prior to the program. (No children under the age of 4 in the canoes please).
Canoe Adventure program is co-hosted by the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District, the Clermont County Park District and the Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality. The program is part of the Great Outdoor Weekend. Visit this website to learn more about Great Outdoor Weekend 2017.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife has an excellent Pond Management Handbook available online for those that own ponds. This free downloadable resource is a must have for pond owners. Inside you will find information regarding fish stocking, fish management, managing aquatic vegetation and other problems and solutions regarding pond health and management.
This handbook was made for the typical pond owner, easy to read, many pictures, and geared to issues found here in Ohio. This publication was updated in 2015.
Please save the date to help us celebrate another great year of conservation at our 73rd Annual Meeting Banquet. This year’s event will be held at the Clermont County Park District’s Pattison Park just west of Owensville on State Route 50. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30. Election polls will remain open until 7:00 – one board supervisor will be elected.
Additional meeting information will be included in our autumn newsletter.