The Pope SWCD is offering a 10% discount on tree orders done by December 10th, 2019 for spring 2020 delivery. Call our office today at 320-634-5327 and ask for Kelly.
Pope SWCD is working alongside the U of M and Stearns SWCD on studying the benefits of a new crop called Kernza. The study being done at our Rosholt research farm in Westport is to test the amount of nitrate leaching present in perennial crop productions. This spring we started with preparing the site and planted wheat after a corn/soybean rotation. This early fall we were then able to assist in the planting of the Kernza plots. Our office looks forward to what we can learn about Kernza and what this crop will be able to do for not only agriculture but for water quality.
The three goals of the Kernza project are: 1) Test that Kernza and other native seeds are more effective at reducing nitrate leaching than alfalfa and prairie under irrigated and rain-fed conditions by measuring nitrate samples collected from lysimeters. This work is being done by U of M and Pope SWCD staff. 2) Establish Kernza fields within the City of Cold Spring’s DWSMA and near the City of St. cloud’s Water Treatment Plant. These sites will be monitored for leaching and field production by the Stearns SWCD staff. 3) Examine Kernza as a food ingredient (bread, cereal pasta, beer, etc.) and non-food (straw) with MN companies and map local processor capabilities, opportunities, and barriers. Characterize and provide technical information on handling, storage, formulation, and shelf life of Kernza product development concepts. Supply nutritional profiles for food/beverage containing Kernza and conduct sensory analysis. The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) will take lead.
Kernza is a domesticated variety of intermediate wheatgrass. This grain is already attracting attention from restaurants, bakeries, and breweries as being a new perennial grain. What is unique about this sod-forming grass is the very deep roots, growing to a depth of 10 feet. With such deep roots the plant is able to capture and use nitrate in the soil that otherwise leach into our groundwater. Excessive nitrate in groundwater can cause health problems and treatment for drinking water can be expensive. For more information please contact our office at 320-634-5143.
On behalf of Pope and Stevens SWCDs, we would like to congratulate Kaley Poegel a 4th grade teacher at Glacial Hills Elementary School. Kaley was nominated by these SWCDs for the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District’s Teacher of the Year. Kaley was selected as this year’s recipient. She will be honored in December at the MASWCD Conference on December 9th and by the County on December 17th. Congratulations Kaley for all you do for our area youth and especially your work on teaching them about the environment.
The Pope Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) wants to remind you that each of us has a connection to natural resources. The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is celebrating the 64th year of Stewardship Week April 28 – May 5, 2019. The 2019 Stewardship Week hinges around the theme “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper.” Soil provides us with a multitude of benefits and services including, but not limited to: clean water, produce we grow, fuel, jobs, and more.
Holly Kovarik acts as the District Manager for Pope SWCD. The District was formed in 1969 to assist people in Pope County with technical assistance for conservation of land and water through project implementation. During Stewardship Week, Pope SWCD has provided materials to 25 churches and has presented this year’s poster contest theme to three schools within the County.
Your local conservation district can assist you in learning more about soil and the types native to your area of the county. They can also provide insight on conservation practices you can use to help protect your soil. Districts have a long-standing history of working with landowners in helping improve their soil health.
Pope SWCD is a member of NACD which oversees the Stewardship Week program. Stewardship Week is one of the largest national annual programs to promote conservation. NACD represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, which were established to encourage resource conservation across the country.
Pope SWCD encourages you to participate in conservation activities through the entire year. For information about Stewardship Week and conservation, contact Nicole Brede at (320) 634-5327 or Nicole.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For almost 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. NACD’s website is at www.nacdnet.org.