As we approach the winter months, many pastures and fields are damaged and are at an increased risk to soil erosion with every precipitation event. To replenish lost forage and to keep productive soils in the fields, the Hurricane Relief Fund is offering Cereal Rye and Triticale as a winter cover crop seed for pasture renovation and crop fields to eligible producers at no cost as supplies last.
Producers with pastures and fields impacted by the hurricanes in the counties identified below are eligible to request seed to implement up to 10 acres of pasture renovation or 20 acres of a cover crop, equivalent to 1,000 pounds of seed. Total available seed per producer is based on acres impacted, as indicated by the survey applicant, considering a 100 pound per acre application rate for pasture renovation and a 50 pound per acre application rate for crop fields, not to exceed the cap. Seed will be available for pick up at the closest Research Station at a designated time. Producers will be notified by email regarding the day they can pick up the seed. All other transportation, planting costs and labor is to be borne by the producer and is not eligible for reimbursement.
The program's purpose is to improve pasture management on private lands so that pastures are more resilient to future environmental challenges. Historic priorities included strengthening pastures on marginal lands and serving farmers phasing out tobacco production. Phase I was delivered during the 2008 drought. Phase II is underway and is in response to the 2016 drought.
The purpose of the program is to promote and refine the use of multi-species cover crops in North Carolina, supporting the national Soil Health Initiative.
Demonstration sites are being established to show producers that a diverse mixture of cover crop species can be planted in a timely manner, allowed to grow and accumulate biomass and nitrogen, and be terminated without tillage.
The Foundation is partnering with the NC Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts to fund regional Mobile Soils Classrooms. The Mobile Soils Classrooms will be used to teach all citizens about the benefits and the importance of soil health. Below is an example of just some of the many Soils Lab demonstration lessons.
To increase the number of qualified people committed to working in the field of soil and water conservation. Eligible applicants can receive up to $5,000 a year for two years. Click here and here to read a spotlight about a current scholar.
The Market Based Conservation Initiative pilot program tested methods of establishing cost effective alternatives to ensuring military readiness by protecting and promoting family farms and forests. The Program focused on the land under a specific 2 mile wide flight training route and special use airspace crossing over 18 eastern North Carolina counties.
The Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscapes parternship is carrying out a variety of activities to promote working lands and military readiness. To learn more visit this website.
The purpose of the program is to establish outdoor environmental learning centers on school campuses and other public accessible places. If you know of a good partnering opportunity, contact your local soil and water conservation district office for more details.
On a national scale, mitigation for impacts to the habitats of threatened or endangered species has focused on a single species approach with a strong emphasis on permanent habitat protection. The questions that have not been analyzed include:
Is there a way to design a program that takes into account climate change and multiple species benefits?
If such a program were developed what are the economic and wildlife lifecycle dynamics to be considered?
What types of regulatory assurances would private landowners and industry need to before participating?
What type of regulatory framework needs to be developed to support the legal aspects of such a program, including permitting?
What organizations in North Carolina can serve as the program delivery points at the county and state level?