Services We Offer

We offer the following services.  Click the links below for more  information.

Certified Nutrient Management Plans 

cowsIf you would  like to have a NMP or plan update written for your farm, contact the District.  We write and update these plans for producers from Somerset County and  surrounding areas.  NMPs written by  the District satisfy the requirements for the State Nutrient Management Law and  protect producers under Maine’s Right to Farm Law.

A NMP helps  landowners to:

  • Supply  essential nutrients needed for optimum crop growth
  • Provide  efficient and effective use of scarce nutrient resources
  • Maintain/improve the physical chemical and biological condition of the soil
  • Minimize/prevent nutrient and runoff based environmental degradation

NMPs are a  key element of the Nutrient Management Program (brought about by state  legislation in 1998, and producing the Nutrient Management Rules, 01-001 Chapter 565,). Farm operations that meet certain conditions are required by law to  develop a Plan, specifically if:

  • The farm confines and feeds 50 or more animal units at any one time (one animal unit = 1000 pounds of live animal weight);
  • The farm stores or utilizes more than 100 tons of manure per year not generated on that farm;
  • The farm is the subject of a verified  complaint of improper manure handling; or
  • The farm stores or utilizes regulated residuals.

The  impetus for regulating farm nutrients primarily came from the farming community  itself and from local soil and water conservation districts and others, who  shared a common interest in the proper storage, management and utilization of  these nutrients. For more information about the State of Maine Nutrient  Management Law, check out the Maine Department of Agriculture and Forestry  nutrient management page.

Soil and Manure Testing Boxes, Forms, and  Information

A  soil test is the best place to start when you are trying to manage your home  garden, pasture, crop or hayfields.  It will give you critical information and help you fertilize your land for  optimal production.

The District has all the  materials you’ll need to get you started with soil and manure sampling for your  farm, green house, high tunnel, or home garden.  We can also help with interpretation of test results.

For more information on  the soil testing process and analysis at the University  of Maine Analytical Laboratory and Maine Soil Testing Service.

Manure testing – The form that needs to  accompany a manure sample being sent to the University of Maine Lab is here.

 Trout Sale

We have an annual sale in the Spring with delivery in mid-May.   Proceeds support our work at the SCSWCD.

Free Lead Fishing Tackle Exchange Program

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs part of  the Unleaded Loons educational program, Somerset County SWCD obtained funding  from the Davis Conservation Foundation and Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund to  host a tackle exchange program.  We have since invited eight other  districts to partner with us as part of the tackle exchange program. Now anglers  that fish in Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo,  or York county can swap their lead tackle for non-toxic tackle for free!  The program will continue while supplies last.  The tackle exchange is available during regular office hours and we also hold free tackle exchange events at a variety of locations during the fishing season.

The program  isn’t necessarily a one-for-one exchange, but there will be a great variety of  non-toxic tackle to try, and no one will go home empty-handed!  What better time than right now to clean out your tackle box, making  fishing safer for you, your children, and Maine’s wildlife?  Contact your District office to  learn more about the program.

For more information on lead poisoning in wildlife visit the Loons and Lead page of our site.

Unleaded Loon Presentations

As part of our Unleaded Loons program, we offer presentations for sports groups, lake associations and high schools to show how lead fishing tackle affects Maine’s water birds and predatory birds.  The program focuses on the use of safer fishing protocol and what citizens can do to help.

The presentation shows how lead fishing tackle affects Maine’s water birds and predatory birds, with a focus particularly on the common loon (as lead tackle ingestion is the leading cause of death for adult loons).  A wide variety of safe alternatives are discussed.
The SCSWCD has been running a nearly state-wide educational program for lake associations and sports groups on this topic for the past three years.  Presenter and Technical Director for the SCSWCD, Laura Suomi-Lecker, has also volunteered with Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center since 2006, and has personally handled lead poisoned loons and eagles.  The scenario is all too common, and this is a critical conservation issue for Maine’s wild bird populations.

The presentation can be tailored to fit individual time requirements.

Basic topics covered include:

  • Toxicity of lead – hazards to humans, wildlife, and our environment
  • How and why wildlife species are affected by ingesting lead fishing tackle, particularly the common loon
  • Loon physiology and behavior that makes them susceptible to lead poisoning  (includes radiographs and photos of lead poisoned loons, real local cases from Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
  • Secondary poisoning of predatory/scavenging birds (again includes radiographs and photos of local cases)
  • Available non-toxic alternatives to lead tackle and what citizens can do to help

Email us or call 474-8324, ext 3, to schedule an event.