Spring Equinox Edition

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A Quarterly Newsletter from
KCD’s Farm Conservation Planning Team
KCD Farm Planners’ Almanac - Summer Solstice Edition

Welcome to the 2020 Spring Equinox Edition
of the Farm Planners’ Almanac!

It’s officially spring! Birds are chirping and the days are getting longer. Animals are ready to be turned out in pastures and garden beds are being prepped for planting. Your KCD Farm Conservation Resource Planners are here and ready to help you with your farming questions and needs.

KCD Farm Planners Jay Mirro and Megan Weldon recently made their debut as speakers at the 2020 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival to speak about the importance of understanding soil health and soil testing.

Soil tests can help you identify nutrient levels, pH, organic matter levels, with recommendations about what to add. Currently, our Soil Nutrient Testing Program is suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit the Healthy Soils section of our website for more details and to find out when soil nutrient testing resumes. If you can't wait to get your soil tested, you can submit your samples directly to A & L Western Labs in Portland for a small fee. Once you get your results back, KCD staff will still be available to help interpret those results if you need help. Or you can check out our blog posts and videos as well.

KCD Resource Planners are unable to do site visits at this time. However, they are able to do phone call and e-mail assistance. You can still sign up for technical assistance; just know that site visits will not happen for quite a while. Stay tuned to KCD's website for details and announcements.

Your KCD Farm Conservation Planning Team,
Carrie King, Jay Mirro, Megan Weldon and Liz Clark

Resource for small businesses in this challenging climate regarding COVID-19

Planning for a Coronavirus Pandemic from Public Health - Seattle and King County February 2020 has helpful information for small businesses of all types.

FDA Briefing on FSMA and COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted a stakeholder call on Wednesday, March 18 to discuss food safety and food supply questions related to COVID-19.

Farmers Markets and COVID-19 from
Washington State Farmers Market Association

Guidance for WSFMA Farmers Markets but also includes helpful information for farmer and ranchers who are vendors at markets.

Spring Reminders

Remember to make the most of your pastures by waiting for them to dry out, before turning out animals.

If you are struggling with mud, weeds, and a lack of grass in your fields, contact a KCD Farm Conservation Resource Planner for assistance. We can help you develop a grazing plan that makes sense for you and your livestock.

It is almost time to spread the composted manure that you have collected all winter long.

  • Don’t over-apply! A good rule of thumb is to apply up to 10-20 cubic yards per acre. Spread less if the area has limited vegetation to absorb nutrients.
  • Don’t apply right before it rains! This is so you don’t lose nutrients and it also helps to prevent water pollution.
  • Consider renting KCD’s Manure Spreader to spread your compost. See our equipment rental section below for details on how to sign up.

It's Weed Season!

Check out the latest newsletter from King County Noxious Weeds.

Equipment Share Program

The following equipment is available for use for a fee. KCD charges a small fee for these items to cover the cost of maintenance and insurance.

  • H&N 50 Manure Spreader - for spreading composted animal waste and other compost)
  • Rhino Limer Drop Spreader - for seed, fertilizer lime application)
  • Kasco Eco-Drill No-Till Seeder - for reseeding pasture and seeding cover crops)
  • Featherman Poultry Processing Equipment - for harvesting and processing poultry)

And these tools are available for use for free:

  • Hay Probe - for testing animal forage nutritional levels
  • Weed Wrenches - for removing invasive weeds such as Scotch Broom
  • Soil Sampling Probes - for sampling your soil to submit to KCD’s Soil Nutrient Testing Program

Visit Equipment Share Program to check availability and rent or borrow any of the equipment.

Please keep in mind that scheduling in the month of April is subject to change due to COVID-19 orders and recommendations by our state and local health agencies.

Are you an organic farm or transitioning to organic?

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) have released two national surveys—one for certified organic producers and the other for producers transitioning to organic certification. This collaborative effort is part of a USDA-funded project seeking to learn more about the challenges and research priorities of organic farmers and ranchers, as well as farmers and ranchers transitioning land to certified organic production.

Please take one of the surveys below:

If you are a certified organic farmer/rancher, please respond to this survey.

If you are a farmer/rancher transitioning to certified organic production, please take this transitioning producer survey. (this means no land currently certified organic)

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is a non-profit foundation that works to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policies that bring more farmers and acreage into organic production.

Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) is a non-profit that works nationally to advance ethical seed solutions to meet food and farming needs in a changing world. Through research, education, and advocacy, OSA fosters organic seed systems that are democratic and just, support human and environmental health, and deliver genetically diverse and regionally adapted seed to farmers everywhere.

Upcoming Events of Interest

Be sure to take some time out this spring to attend some farm tours and workshops.

Note: Many events are being canceled due to COVD-19 risk, so be sure to check the status of an event before attending.

Second Annual Cover Crop Round Table

Thursday, March 26
Online Only

WSU Rain Garden Workshop

Friday, March 27
WSU Puyallup

Upcoming Horses For Clean Water Webinars

Horses for Clean Water: Hedgerows, Owl Boxes, and Horses

April 1

Horses for Clean Water Online Workshop: Shopping for a Horse Property

Wednesday, April 8

Horses for Clean Water Online Workshop: Firewise for Horse Owners

Wednesday, April 15


Please watch our website and social media outlets for information about other events to be scheduled. And visit to register for future KCD-organized Workshops, Farm Tours and Volunteer Events.

KCD on Facebook
KCD on Instagram
KCD on Twitter
KCD on YouTube
KCD Website
Copyright © 2020 King Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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