No-till Corn Planter Tune-up Clinic

April 22, 2016 10-Noon

Tim Hewitt’s Farm Shop

678 East River Road, Skowhegan ME.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension along with the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District is pleased to offer a no-till corn planter tune up clinic on April 22nd in Skowhegan.

With many Maine dairy farmers reaping the environmental and economic benefits of switching to no-till corn planting, it is critical that the equipment used in these operations be properly maintained and adjusted. Rico Balzano, Agronomy Outreach Professional from the University of Vermont Extension and member of the Champlain Valley Crops team will lead the meeting. We will use Tim Hewitt’s no-till planter to facilitate the clinic. Tim’s shop is located on 678 East River Rd in Skowhegan.

No-till corn production, along with the use of cover crops in the fall has seen a lot of adoption over the past few years throughout the Northeast. This system of crop production provides a host of benefits to farms, including time and nutrient management, both contributing to overall cost savings and improved profitability. However, to be successful, the corn planter must be operated and maintained correctly. Come learn about how to set up a no-till planter and adjust them for optimal seed placement!

This workshop is free. For more information, contact the Waldo County Extension Office at 207-342-5971

2016 SPRING TREE & SHRUB SALE

The District is currently taking orders for the annual tree and shrub sale. The order form can be found here, or picked up at our office at 70 East Madison Road in Skowhegan. Orders must be received by Thursday, March  18th. Please call our office at (207) 474-8324 x 3 for additional information.

Upcoming Woodland Owner Workshops

The Maine Forest Service and SWOAM are hosting the following two workshops that might be of interest to woodland owners.

Reviving and Managing “Wild” Apple Trees – Skowhegan

Saturday, February 20th from 10 a. to noon at the UMaine Extension Office in Skowhegan.

Many woodland owners in Maine have them, forgotten apple trees that are struggling to survive. Though many of these trees are of wild origin and may not be enjoyable to you or I for food there is a diverse amount of wildlife that welcome the chance for their apples!  So do you want to learn some tips on how to make these trees prosper? Then come to the Yankee Woodlot in Skowhegan on Saturday February 20th where apple tree enthusiast Joe Dembeck will provide a tour of recently rehabbed trees and discuss methods and tools used to manage them. Dress warm as we will venture outdoors for the event.

This is a free event and there is no need to pre-register.

Directions:  7 County Drive in Skowhegan, off the Back Road to Norridgewock, halfway between the Margaret Chase Smith Library and the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program office. Look for our sign by the road.

Any questions- Patty Cormier- 592-2238 or patty.cormier@maine.gov.  This event is sponsored by the Somerset County SWCD, SWOAM and Maine Forest Service.

BMPs and Cement Alternatives for Your Woodland Trail or Road Crossings – Farmington

Join the UKV chapter of SWOAM on Thursday February 25th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a presentation by Blaine Miller of Dirigo Timberlands on the new concrete arch culverts or concrete bridges that he designs as alternatives for the traditional corrugated metal culverts and wood bridges.  Tom Gilbert the new Water Quality Forester for the Maine Forest Service will also review the use of Best Management Practices.  Blaine started his concrete business in 2013 and has since been providing a longer lasting, more environmentally and cost efficient product for many landowners, large and small since.  Poorly designed culverts and bridges can cost and frustrate landowners as well as block the natural movement for fish and other aquatic wildlife.  Come hear what Blaine has to say.

The meeting will be held at the Farmington Town Office, 153 Farmington Falls Road (park in back, use back door) on Thursday February 25th from 6 to 8 p.m.  

This is open to anyone and free, no need to pre-register.  Any questions contact Patty Cormier at 592-2238, or patty.cormier@maine.gov

 

Voting Results from District Supervisor Elections

Based upon the ballots cast for the two open Somerset County SWCD supervisor positions, Gabe Clark was reelected for his fourth term and Ann Mefferd was elected to her first term. Their 3 year terms as supervisors begin January 1, 2016 and terminate December 31, 2018.

Congratulations to them both!

 

Gabe owns and operates Cold Spring Ranch in New Portland, 600 acres of pastures and woodlands, in an environmentally friendly manner raising the highest quality grass fed and grass finished beef.

Ann owns and operates One Drop Farm in Cornville which produces organically raised vegetables and seedlings. She is also co-owner of The Pick-up (CSA, Café, and Wholesale) located in Skowhegan.

Somerset County Local Work Group Meeting

Thursday December 17, 2015 at 1:30pm

Somerset County USDA Service Center

 70 East Madison Road, Skowhegan ME  04976

The meeting will be hosted by the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District. The public is encouraged to attend.

The Local Working Group is composed of those interested in agriculture, private forests, wetlands, and wildlife within Somerset County. The group provides information, assistance, and recommendations to the District Conservationist of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on local natural resource priorities and criteria for matters relating to the implementation and technical aspects of conservation programs funded under the USDA Farm Bill.

On behalf of the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, we hope you will be able to attend this meeting.

 Call (207) 474-8324 ext.3 with questions or for more information

Supervisor Nominations and Election

PUBLIC NOTICE

Somerset County Soil & Water Conservation District

DISTRICT SUPERVISOR ELECTION

 Persons desiring to run for the office of District Supervisor for the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District should contact the District office at 70 East Madison Road, Skowhegan ME 04976, telephone (207) 474-8324 x180, to obtain nomination papers. Nomination papers must be received at the District office no later than October 30, 2015. Persons wishing to vote in the election of District Supervisor must contact the District in order to receive a ballot.

 Persons who desire to run for office of Supervisor must be a resident registered voter residing within the boundaries of the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District. All registered voters within the boundaries of the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District are eligible to vote. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the District.

Northern Long-eared Bat Workshop for Woodland Owners

Northern Long-eared Bat ESA Listing – Implications for Maine Woodland Owners and the Forest Industry

Date: September 15, 2015

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Location: Skowhegan Recreation Center – Room A (39 Poulin Drive – Skowhegan)

 

Presented by Somerset County Soil & Water Conservation District, ME Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Maine Forest Service, this program will provide information for woodland owners, foresters, and loggers regarding the recent listing of the northern long-eared bat as a federally threatened species. The presentation will include an introduction to the biology and distribution of the species in Maine, reasons for the species decline, and the range of implications to woodland owners, foresters, loggers, and to NRCS cost-share activities (i.e. EQIP), A panel of biologists and managers will present the information and offer suggestions and answers to your questions.

For more information about the program, please contact Joe Dembeck at the Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District at joseph.dembeck@me.nacdnet.net (207) 474-8324. For more information about the northern long-eared bat go to http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/nlba/index.html.

DEP – Grants for Culvert Upgrades

The Maine DEP currently is accepting grant applications for public infrastructure improvement projects including culvert upgrades and stream crossings. Eligible recipients for these grant funds include: individuals, businesses, municipalities, unorganized and deorganized townships, counties, soil and water conservation districts, regional planning commissions, watershed districts, and incorporated nonprofit organizations with federal tax exempt status [501(c)(3)]. To view the details of the grant and application materials go to: http://www.maine.gov/dep/rfp/rfp.html?id=644617.

 

“About My Woods” – Resource for Woodland Owners

There you are walking in your woodlot when you see something different. It could be a wildflower, an insect, or an understory tree. The field guides are back at the house, so will you remember what it looks like hours later when you pull that guide from the shelf? For better or worse it seems like smartphones have become an item that are always close by and you can now use it to answer those woodlot questions! The North East States Foresters Association has created a smartphone app called About My Woods. The app provides a variety of useful information including: 1) quick guides for wildflowers, invasive plants and insects, trees, wildlife, and shrubs/vines; 2) map imagery for your location; 3) contact information for in-state and regional resources; and 4) links to other online resources. The app is free and instructions for downloading to your phone can be found at www.aboutmywoods.org.

On a recent walk in my woods I took time to use About My Woods to search for information on items ranging from bunch berry to red maples. Great pictures and useful information. Give it a try!