planting corn

(Photo by Meagan Cooper)

Gary Cooper planting corn into terminated annual rye grass — triticale mix.

MOROCCO, Ind. — I hope you’ve had a wonderful start to your week so far! Lots of folks seem to be doing well in the fields & are getting crops in the ground. Trees are really greening up right now, several flowers are beginning to bloom, pollen is flying everywhere, & cicadas are very slowly making their way up. We will likely not have as intense of a cicada hatch as other counties but we will still get to enjoy the once-every-17-year experience.

Here are a few things happening at Newton SWCD this week:

Invasive species homeowner surveys! As part of our partnership with the Indiana Invasives Initiative, we are able to work with our Regional Invasives Species Specialist, Mandi Glanz, to provide FREE homeowner surveys to anyone in Newton County interested in learning more about what’s on their property, how to treat their pesky invasive species, & how they can provide better habitat for local wildlife. We will be conducting 4 this week & are happy to schedule more moving into June. Just call 219-285-2217 or email newtonsoilwater@gmail.com.

We have cost share funding available for producers in the Kankakee Watershed interested in addressing low lying wet areas in their farm fields. These wet spots can be troublesome to get planted & often retain water after big rains, drowning out small crops. This funding is to plant deep rooted native perennials in wet spots for 3 years in order to effectively break the compaction and create the structure in order to improve water infiltration. Cost share is $250/ac each year for 3 yrs. Alternatively we can also cost share $20/ac for deep rooted covers like cereal rye to help the same problems. Please call 219-285-2217 or email newtonsoilwater@gmail.com for more info.

Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area Meeting this Friday at 12pm. This group of citizens & interested professionals is just forming in Newton County, so please join us! We will be partaking in an invasive species homeowner survey & discussing goals, mission statement, & next steps for this group. Please reach out to our Regional Invasive Species Specialist for more info: mandi@sicim.info, (260) 243-2161

Newton County Woodland Walks & Talks. Interested in learning more about your woods & how to improve your habitat? Join us June 3rd at 6pm CT for our 2nd forestry workshop! Please RSVP to newtonsoilwater@gmail.com, (219) 285-2217 as space is limited. We will be meeting at 250 S 400 W (you will see signs out to follow) — this is south on the 1st road west of the EMA Center/Animal Shelter in Enos. BYO drinks & snacks, bug spray & fun will be provided!

Beaver Fest! We will be at Beaver Fest in Morocco this Saturday from 9a -12p CT sharing all sorts of fun water quality info! Play our trivia game for a chance to win a FREE rain barrel!!

Rather than #FieldWorkFriday, we celebrated the father-daughter duo, Gary and Meagan Cooper as Farmers of the Week!

They have been completely covered for years & have dialed in quite an efficient operation. They are still tweaking things here & there, documenting each step, & are always willing to share their successes & failures with others.

This past week they were planting corn into no-kill covers of terminated triticale & annual ryegrass. Gary & Meagan farm down south of Foresman where you know that ground can be heavy & wet. They use these covers & no-till planting methods for a variety of reasons... soil health being the #1 all encompassing benefit. What does that mean exactly? Reach out & ask them!

We won’t dive into all of the nitty gritty on this one because there is A LOT to talk about, & really Gary & Meagan are the best to explain what they’re doing & why.

They are protecting our Iroquois River by keeping their nutrients in place, on the farms, and helping filter any water moving through & across their land. Healthy Soil = Clean Water = Healthy Communities

Thank you, Gary, Meagan, & great landlords like Bob Ormiston, for all you do and for sharing!

Please stop by or give us a call any time. There are a lot of exciting things for people to be involved in throughout the county between all of our awesome partners, so no matter your interest or question, we can connect you to the resources you need. Dunkin’ (not an official promotion although that’d be pretty dang cool if they sponsored us!) is brewing this week so come have a cup!

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