CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

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April 18, 2013

Soil Health Workshop

BRENTWOOD — The Rockingham County Conservation District will hold their second on-farm soil health and equipment demonstration on Wed., April 24, 9:00 a.m. at Rockingham County Farm in Brentwood. Attend the workshop to learn about soil testing options, easy ways to improve your soil productivity, and long term soil health. Also see in-action the equipment available for rent at low cost! The workshop is free, but please RSVP to Vicky Stafford at natsci@rockinghamccd.org or 679-2790.

This workshop and equipment rental program is part of the Rockingham and Strafford County Great Bay Nutrient Management Initiative. The primary goal of the Initiative Management Initiative is to demonstrate ways to increase soil productivity while decreasing soil erosion and the use of fertilizers. Excess nitrogen in surface waters has been identified as the leading cause of declining environmental health of Great Bay.

The NH State Conservation Committee, “Moose Plate” Conservation Grant Program has provided funds for the purchase of a Stoltzfus Wet Lime Spreader for farms to rent. Spread wood ash or lime to help modify soil pH. Soils that are less acidic or soils with a pH closer to neutral are better environments for legumes which fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. Raising pH with wood ash is an efficient way to facilitate legume growth and nitrogen production in the soil without synthetic fertilizers.

The Districts also have an AerWay Soil Aerator available to rent, provided through funding from the NH Association of Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. With less compaction, farmers can see an increase in soil permeability and productivity without using fertilizers, therefore reducing runoff pollutants released into Great Bay.

Additionally, a Great Plains No-Till Seeder will arrive in the spring, also to rent, purchased with funds from the sale of NH Conservation Plates (Moose Plates). No-till practices allow for land management in ways that protect important soil structure, organic matter, and reduce compaction. Attend the workshop to learn about how each piece of equipment can improve your soil productivity while helping to reduce nutrient runoff into Great Bay!

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