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2019
Fall Equinox Edition

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A Quarterly Newsletter from KCD’s Rural Stewardship Team

Welcome Fall Equinox!

The leaves are turning and starting to fall. This summer, the Farm Services Team has been rebranded as the Rural Stewardship Program.

The rain has returned a bit sooner that some of us would have liked, but it will give pastures a great boost. If you haven't removed your animals from pasture for the winter, now is a perfect time to do so. Confining animals will help minimize compaction as well as getting grass height to an ideal six or more inches going into the winter.

More grass height now means more root structure going into the dormant season, which ultimately results in better forage production in the spring. Plus it guarantees no bare soil throughout the winter.

Your KCD Rural Stewardship Team,
Carrie King, Jay Mirro, Laura RedmondLiz Stockton and Megan Weldon 

Fall Reminders

Fall is here and that means it is time to focus on pasture enhancement/restoration. This is the best time of year to complete annual soil testing, add lime, reseed, and spread nutrients.

  • Remember not to spread manure or compost right before a big rain event!
  • Not sure if this is a good time to spread? Check out the Manure Spreading Advisory to see if your area is at risk.
  • Be sure to plant or spread seed before October 15th for successful germination.
  • Be sure to spread compost before September 30 and avoid over application to reduce runoff.
  • It is also critical to maintain a 3" stubble height (or grass height) so allow healthy and vigorous spring growth.

Remember healthy spring pastures are made in the fall!

For more detailed information about pasture management recommendations in western Washington, check out this new resource from WSU, OSU and NRCS.

The Western Oregon and Washington Pasture Calendar - Adobe Acrobat PDF

New KCD Slideshows and Blog Posts
Highlight Best Management Practices and Projects

KCD staff has been working hard to bring you more great information online via KCD's website and YouTube Channel. Here are some examples of recent items that are helpful in getting your fall projects completed.

Put Native Plants to Work on Your Horse Property
Do you have questions about how native plants can be used around your horse property? In this slide show Alayne Blickle of Horses For Clean Water shares ideas on some of the best uses and appropriate species.

Fencing Considerations for Horses
Alayne Blickle, creator and director of Horses For Clean Water, highlights some of the options available for installing fencing for horses, from perimeter fencing for security to temporary fencing for rotational grazing, and all of the options in between.

Horse-Keeping at Two Horse Ranch, Redmond WA
Take a stroll with us… Alayne Blickle, creator and director of Horses For Clean Water, shares how Rita and Mark Hampson of Two Horse Ranch in Redmond, WA reduce mud, manage manure and make pastures more productive.

Landowner Incentive Program Opportunities

Have you been thinking of building a heavy use area to keep your animal’s feet clean and dry this winter?

KCD offers cost share through the Landowner Incentive Program. It can help minimize your costs by reimbursing you upon completion. Heavy use areas (or sacrifice areas) are one eligible practice. Contact your KCD Resource Planner to see how we can help you with specifying the appropriate fencing and footing material so your animals have a clean and dry place to stay all winter. Heavy use areas also help protect pastures from animal damage by preventing them from grazing on wet soil.

If you haven’t worked with a KCD Resource Planner, please fill out a Request for Technical Assistance and you will be assigned.

Highlights from This Summer

It was a busy summer for KCD staff and cooperators. You may have visited with KCD at various events like the King County Fair in Enumclaw or the Intensive Rotational Grazing Field Day in Duvall. Here are some highlights.

Intensive Rotational Grazing Field Day Slideshow

King County Fair Slideshow

And look for future blog posts about other events and educational opportunities as well.

Interpret Your Soil Test Report

Did you recently submit soil samples for nutrient testing? Do you have questions about your soil test report? Check out this video tutorial about how to interpret the results.

KCD Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program (ADAP)

Did you know that KCD provides comprehensive services to assist farmers with maintaining and improving agricultural drainage systems? Both technical assistance and matching grants are available. Through this program, 151 acres of farmland have been brought back into production and 8 miles of blocked drainage have been cleared.

Agricultural Drainage Project Coordinator Liz Stockton is currently looking for landowners in the unincorporated Enumclaw area who might be interested in receiving assistance.

Equipment Share Program

KCD equipment is available on a seasonal or year-round basis, depending on the equipment type.

Find out more.

Upcoming KCD Events of Interest

Be sure to take some time this fall to attend some farm tours, classes and workshops.

Beautify and Care for Your Streamside Property

September 28, Renton

Don’t miss this FREE class and stream restoration tour for homeowners living along bodies of water.
Register

 

Forage Analysis and Management

October 1, 2019 - Puyallup/Webinar

Join Joe Harrison, WSU Animal Science and Extension Specialist, and several local farmers for information on why, how, and when to test your hay stocks.
Register

 

Living with Beavers - Beavers Northwest

October 3, 2019 - Enumclaw

At this workshop, we will discuss the many benefits of beavers and the ways you can live in harmony with them.
Register

 

Workshop: Winterizing Your Horse Property
Taller (Bilingüe): Preparando Sus Caballos Para El Invierno

November 1, 2019 - Enumclaw

This workshop will be presented in both English and Spanish.

Join King and Pierce Conservation Districts along with Horses for Clean Water to see and learn techniques for getting a jump on winter by preparing horse farms for those dark, cold, blustery months.

¿Quieres aprender consejos prácticos cómo ideas para ganarle al barro y ser más eficiente en tus tareas en la época del año cuando esto es lo más importante?

Register:
Workshop: Winterizing Your Horse Property
Taller (Bilingüe): Preparando Sus Caballos Para El Invierno

 

Horse Farm Tour: Mud, Manure & Native Plants
Visita De Granja (Bilingüe): Barro, Estiércol, y Plantas Nativas

November 2, 2019 - Enumclaw (Cumberland)

This tour will be presented in both English and Spanish.

Get ideas for managing mud, utilizing native plants, and composting animal manure. See well-cared-for animal residents with reduced environmental impacts.

Visite esta pintoresca propiedad preparada para el invierno de 20 acres con caballos y alpacas, vea el manejo adecuado del barro y un hábitat saludable para los peces y la vida silvestre.

Register:
Horse Farm Tour: Mud, Manure & Native Plants
Visita De Granja (Bilingüe): Barro, Estiércol, y Plantas Nativas  

 

Visit http://www.kingcd.org/events/ to register for farm tours, workshops, volunteer events and more.

Copyright © 2019 King Conservation District, All rights reserved.


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