A weekly blog for all things conservation
By: Guest Columnist Troy Bishopp, Grazing Specialist, Upper Susquehanna Coalition
Conjuring Forrest Gump; “For no particular reason”, I went for a winter pasture walk and kept on walking. . .
And for no particular reason, I started to look at snow, as frozen water; ready and willing to infiltrate, when warming arrives on the landscape. In areas of the country where water is lacking, capturing this white moisture is a critical element for the tap, habitat or the future growing season.
By Tim Russell, Quality Deer Management Association Certified Forester
Excerpt taken from Quality Deer Management newsletter. To learn more about QDMA or to sign up for their newsletter, visit www.qdma.com
Apple trees can provide an ample supply of quality food to whitetail deer and often retain fruit late into the season, continuing to drop apples into the winter. While establishing new food sources on your property can positively impact the herd’s nutrition, the abandoned, overgrown orchards that pepper the landscape in some regions can offer a great deal with some revitalization. If you are lucky enough to have an old apple tree or orchard where you hunt, consider reclaiming it by following these three steps.
By: Miranda Neville, Agricultural Resource Specialist
In a time when dairy farmers, or frankly any type of farmers, are struggling to stay afloat, the thought of passing down a family business seems like a very big dream and not so much a feasible reality. The struggles may be different than generations past, but one thing has stayed the same for many farm families; the concept that there is no greater place to raise a child.
Being a dairy farm mom to a spunky, sassy five-year-old daughter has been the most rewarding role. Working a full time, off-farm job at the conservation district, racing home to hear about all of the struggles of Kindergarten and making our way to the barn is our daily routine. The minute we walk in the barn any and all of our worries melt away and we are in our happy place.
By: Kevin Brown, Agricultural Resource Specialist
Every year the Conservation District organizes education days at all the local schools. We bring in the Game Commission, beekeepers, maple producers, farmers, and the like. We also do a station or two ourselves. Luckily, I often get to run one of the stations. It is the most fun I have all year. I love educating young people. I tweak my topic each time I do it, but the most basic stuff is always there. I try to bring it “home” for them. I would like to ask all of you the same thing I ask them, and really try to bring it “home” to you. What are the four things that we absolutely, positively must have to survive day in and day out? The younger kids usually get close to the right answers. I am sure there are some older folks that think cell phone, internet, cable TV and a car. You know the good stuff. My, how some of us have become “removed” from the important things that we absolutely MUST have. Have you guessed any of the four things yet?
By: Nathan Dewing, Agricultural Team Leader, BCCD
If anyone was ever deserving of the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award, it is the Jackson family of Mt. Glen Farm in Springfield Township, Bradford County. And Pennsylvania agreed, as the Sand County Foundation and Pennsylvania sponsors recognized the Jackson family on January 10th at the PA Farm Show.
Some would describe this as a lifetime achievement award in agricultural conservation, but it is more. Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding described it as a multi-generational achievement award. Dean and Rebecca would be quick to credit those who have invested in them and set the pace before them. They may not realize it, but now this duo is doing the same for us.
Last week I wrote about “prime” soils and development pressure on prime farmland here in Bradford County. This week I would like to look at the three required components of farmland preservation and how the community can get involved with this important program. Farmland Preservation requires municipalities, landowners, and funding.
To be eligible for the county Farmland Preservation program, farms must:
1) be part of an Agricultural Security Area (ASA)
2) contain at least 50% class I through IV soils, as defined by USDA-NRCS.
3) contain at least 50% harvested cropland, pasture or grazing lands
4) contain at least 50 contiguous acres OR over 10 acres and utilized for a crop unique to the area or contiguous to a property that already has a permanent conservation easement.
By: Amy Kneller, Agricultural Resource Specialist, BCCD
We are often asked “Why preserve farmland here when there isn’t development pressure to protect it from?” While Bradford County doesn’t have the visible development pressure of southeastern Pennsylvania, our areas of prime farmland are under pressure to be developed.
Excerpt taken from Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) newsletter. To learn more about NPC or to sign up for their newsletter, visit https://npcweb.org/
With the winter solstice passing and holiday celebrations in full swing, what’s your go-to way of staying cozy and warm? Throw another log on the fire? Pull out your favorite sweater for an extra layer? Or perhaps, you’re in the kitchen cooking up a hearty stew?
As humans, we have many ways that we can keep out the cold by altering our environment. But of course, for our Pennsylvania wildlife, adjusting the thermostat is not an option. Fortunately, they have a variety of amazing physical and behavioral adaptations to help them survive the winter.
Here’s a look at a few of those wintertime adaptations!
By: Dan Rhodes, Education Coordinator
Not long ago, Pennsylvanian’s heating and cooling options were few and simple; home heating oil, coal, wood, propane, and electricity. To power lights and appliances, it was electricity from the general power grid. Now there are solar powered systems, geothermal systems, electric heat pumps, private mini-hydro water turbines, wood-boilers, and natural gas lines available to Bradford County residents looking for cutting edge energy sources that save money and reduce environmental impacts.
By: Dan Rhodes, Education Coordinator, Bradford County Conservation District
Across the US and Pennsylvania, passenger car and truck options for residents looking to fuel a new mode of personal transportation have never been more diverse. When the average consumer considers the options available today, certainly the price-tag is a big consideration, both in initial purchase price, and long-term potential repair and maintenance costs. Fuel economy is another big consideration when attempting to determine the long-term costs of purchasing and operating a vehicle. With the recent surge in alternative fuel vehicles such as all electric cars, electric/internal-combustion engine hybrids and clean diesel cars, there are also many options marketed as cleaner and better for the environment than the vehicles of the past. However, by examining the true source of where the energy is coming from to power your vehicle of choice, along with an analysis of driving habits and intended uses of the vehicle, consumers can save themselves lots of money, as well as potentially reduce harmful environmental impacts that can influence human health, water quality, and wildlife.
To compare some of these variables directly between different car models built by the same manufacturer, I’ve included a graph for three different vehicles sold by GM in the model year 2019.
Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District