Fall conservation tour set for September 8, 2011

Clean Sweep, MAEAP and fertilizer stewardship practices will highlight the 2011 Fall Conservation Tour. Land owners, conservationists and farmers are invited to attend.

Farmers can take a break from their pre-harvest preparations and learn about the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and conservation practices that protect their farm and environment during the 2011 Fall Conservation Tour. The tour begins at 8:00 a.m. on September 8, near the Crop Production Services, Woodbury Farm Center in Woodbury, Mich., (on M-66 just south of the rail road tracks) with a Clean Sweep program. Crop producers and homeowners can bring unwanted and outdated pesticides and hazardous chemicals and empty containers to this site for safe disposal by authorities. The bus tour of farms will follow. See the full schedule on the attached flier.

The tour stops will provide an overview of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs under the 2008 Farm Bill, conservation reserve program and eligibility, MAEAP certification, and discuss nitrogen and phosphorus conservation practices. The Farm Bill provisions provide technical and financial assistance to help producers implement conservation practices that reduce erosion and nutrient losses, protect water quality, improve fish and wildlife habitat and air quality, and conserve energy. Cover crops will be demonstrated as potential soil builders and ground breakers. Timely soil and corn stalk tests for nitrogen management will be discussed.

The speakers include George Silva, MSU Extension; Jennifer Silveri, MAEAP technician; Andrea Stay, Eaton Conservation District; Tim Redder, USDA NRCS; Rhonda-Bozek-Smith,Ingham Conservation District; Paul Kindel, Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy; and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) officials

For additional information, please contact George Silva or Jennifer Silveri. There is no cost for the tour or lunch, but participants should call 517-543-5848 ext. 112 and register in advance. MDA and CCA credits are pending. Pesticides and hazardous chemicals safely disposed by the Clean Sweep program will be summarized for the I Know MI Numbers Water Quality Target Program.

This event is jointly sponsored by MSU Extension and Conservation Districts in Eaton, Ingham, Barry and Ionia counties.

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