Summer Solstice Edition

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A Quarterly Newsletter from KCD’s Farm Conservation Planning Team

Diverse pastureSummer is here!

Summer Solstice was last Friday. The days will start getting shorter now, but we will enjoy summer until fall comes. Here are a few tips for to remember:

  • Remember the 3" Golden Rule! If your animals have grazed the pasture down to about 3 inches, rotate them to the next field. The bottom 3" of the plant is the “energy bank”, which grass needs to recover from grazing.
  • Mow! After you move your livestock to the next pasture, mow the current field to prevent weeds from taking over. (Prevent weeds from flowering).
  • Think about harrowing/dragging pastures after mowing. This will distribute the nutrients in manure equally through your fields.

Your KCD Farm Services Team wishes a great summer to everyone!
Carrie KingJay MirroMegan Weldon, Liz StocktonLiz Clark

Does Cover Cropping Pay Dividends?

New bulletin from Western SARE was recently released. You can download it for free here:

Cover Crop Economics: Opportunities to Improve Your Bottom Line in Row Crops.

Protect Water Quality with a Buffer

Do you, or someone you know, have a stream or ditch on or along their property? Do livestock have access to (or closely graze near) this waterway? Did you know that even small streams and ditches can have a big impact on water quality in our larger streams and rivers?

  • Poorly shaded ditches and streams can cause water to warm up to levels that are often harmful to aquatic life, including salmon.
  • Runoff from rain can cause nitrogen and phosphorus (from manure) to migrate into water, causing algae blooms and depleting oxygen.

How can you help improve water quality and protect our threatened and endangered salmon?

  • Consider planting a mix of native plants along the edges of streams and ditches.
  • Install fencing to prevent livestock from accessing streams, ponds, and wetlands.

How KCD Can Help You

KCD’s Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) has Cost Share for Buffer Fences and Aquatic Area Buffer Planting

A buffer fence is a fence that protects a sensitive area from livestock use. KCD recently increased our cost share rate from $5 to $7 a linear foot (at a 75% reimbursement).

Contact your KCD Farm Services Resource Planner for more information if you are interested in installing a fence to protect a waterway.

KCD’s Aquatic Area Buffer Planting Program reimburses a landowner up to 90% of the cost of installing native vegetation along streams and ditches. KCD’s team will complete follow-up maintenance for 3 years after the installation of a project to ensure planting success! Contact Jacobus Saperstein for more information.

For more detailed information about pasture management recommendations in western Washington, check out this resource from WSU, OSU and NRCS:
Western Oregon and Washington Pasture Calendar (Acrobat PDF)

Wild Canary Farm

Intensive Rotational Grazing Field Day

Join us at Wild Canary Farm (formerly K-T Cattle Company) in Duvall to learn how KCD Board Supervisor Jim Haack and his wife Katie raise Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Grass Fed beef and grow cut flowers.

Videos from Recent Workshops

KCD recently partnered with Pierce Conservation District to record recent educational events. Please see the links below for the videos posted to KCD’s YouTubeChanel, or visit KCD's YouTube Channel to see these and other helpful videos from partners such as other conservation districts, NRCS, WSDA, etc.

First Annual Cover Crop Round Table


Prepare for a Successful Grazing Season


Managing Soil Nutrient Balances

How many species of grasses, legumes and weeds do you see in this photo? How tall do you think the forage is?

Last Week Was Pollinator Week!

In honor of National Pollinator Week, NACD has launched a new Pollinators website, full of resources, curriculum, webinars. Plus more on how to implement pollinator conservation practices in your backyard, national recognition programs for producers who utilize pollinator conservation practices on their operations, as well as links to pollinator partner organizations and informative webinars. The Pollinators website also contains stories about conservation districts at the forefront of pollinator conservation.

Each year, NACD celebrates National Pollinator Week, facilitated by Pollinator Partnership, held in mid-June. This year is was from June 17-23, 2019. NACD celebrated the vital role pollinators play in our ecosystems.

Our Farms, Our Future PodcastDo you listen to podcasts?

With sunny summer days, many of us are outside in the fields planting, weeding, harvesting, mowing. If you have your earbuds in and are consuming audio books or podcasts, consider adding Our Farms, Our Future podcast from Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) to your playlist.

Upcoming Events of Interest

Check out these upcoming events in early 2019.

KCD Intensive Rotational Grazing Field Day

Saturday, July 13, 2019
Wild Canary Farm, Duvall
Please pre-register by July 11

King County Fair

Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21
10am to 10pm Thu-Sat and 10am-6pm Sun
Enumclaw Expo Center

Visit to register for all KCD farm tours, workshops and volunteer opportunities.

Copyright © 2019 King Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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