Updated: Mar 7
Bringing economic and environmental resources to Genesee County to help both people and the environment grow together
There are many ways for all of us to do our part in protecting our planet and the precious natural resources that are all around. However, protecting natural resources can feel like a lot of work, time, and could potentially cost a lot of money.
We offer incredible opportunities for landowners and land managers interested in planning and implementing conservation efforts. There are many (and we mean MANY) different practices that can be implemented on your land, determined by your objectives and natural resource concerns. Through technical assistance and education we can assist you in a cooperative effort to manage your land effectively while helping the environment. Conservation District staff are your trusted source to help you put conservation practices into place. Listed below are a few examples of conservation practices that may apply to a broad spectrum of agricultural producers, landowners, and land managers.
There are many benefits of planting cover crops, for both large and small farmers and even the backyard gardener. Cover crops help increase the organic matter in the soil, reduce soil erosion, break up soil compaction, and may help to retain valuable nutrients in the soil. For example, legumes planted in the fall will fix nitrogen in the soil to help improve the nutrient load for consequent crops. Raised beds and vegetable gardens left bare over winter can be planted with cover crops in the fall to improve soil and prevent nutrient loss.
Conservation cover creates valuable and attractive pollinator habitats. This practice entails planting a combination of native grasses, forbs, wildflowers, and other vegetation to conserve and improve the soil. Conservation cover reduces erosion while providing food and habitat for wildlife.
Forest Management Plans
Forests and woodlots are also eligible for conservation practices. A certified forester can write a detailed plan specific to your land needs. They will also inventory your land to create a detailed management plan to identify the density of trees, tree species present, scout for invasive species, and more. The plan will be tailored specifically to your goals. Be it promoting wildlife habitat or having a sustainable timber harvest that maintains the overall health and productivity of the trees.
Invasive Species Management
Preventing invasive species or herbaceous weeds from becoming noxious is another practice that you can implement. Pesky autumn olive, multiflora rose, or knotweed, as pictured below, can be better managed through brush management and herbaceous weed control practices. There is more than one brush management strategy, ranging from mechanical removal to chemical application. We will work with you to figure out an effective plan.
If you are interested in any of the conservation practices described here, or want to start conservation planning, we are eager to help. To learn more about applying for cost-share funds to implement conservation practices, contact us by phone at (810) 230-8766 ext. 3 or visit us at the office to complete the application today. For more information see the USDA press release below. The application deadline is March 20, 2020.