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Concerning Conservation Wake Soil and Water Conservation District ~ Spring 2021

Attention Farmers and Landowners!

Do you have issues with erosion? Want to improve soil health? Do you lack enough water to meet your needs? Are your animals mucking up your pond? Are your farm paths in rough shape? Do you need help dealing with manure?

We can help!

The Wake Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has available funds to assist farmers and landowners with installing conservation practices to help decrease the amount of sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticides and other pollutants in the surface and ground waters of our state.

Farmers and landowners of existing agricultural operations may apply for cost share assistance to install conservation practices such as grassed waterways, converting crop fields to pasture or trees, cover crops, irrigation wells, livestock water tanks and livestock exclusion fencing. Funds are also available to assist with improving inadequate water supply such as ponds that dry out or hauling water to livestock and vegetable fields.

Farmers and landowners are encouraged to contact the Wake SWCD office as soon as possible. Contact John Beck at 919-250-1072 or email john.beck@wakegov.com for more information.

Save the Date!

2021 Virtual Keeping the Farm Workshop

March 24th at 1:00pm

Due to Covid-19, we are unable to hold an in-person Keeping the Farm (KTF) Workshop, so the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District has decided to host its first virtual KTF event!

Topics covered will include:

Property Tax Update - Wake County Tax Administration

Estate, Gift, and Capital Gains Tax Changes - Law Office of Jason R. Page. PLLC

PLANWake - Wake County Planning

Farm Service Agency Programs - USDA Farm Service Agency

Conservation Options for your Farm - Triangle Land Conservancy

If you are unable to attend the live event, presentations will be recorded and posted on our website after the event.

USDA Farm Service Agency Program Opportunities

The Agriculture Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs were authorized by the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. If you received a postcard from FSA about ARC/PLC enrollment, contact your tenant if you have one or contact your local FSA Office if you don't have a tenant.

The ARC-CO program provides income support tied to historical base acres, not current production, of covered commodities. ARC-CO payments are issued when the actual county crop revenue of a covered commodity is less than the ARC-CO guarantee for the covered commodity.

PLC program payments are issued when the effective price of a covered commodity is less than the respective reference price for that commodity. The effective price equals the higher of the market year average price (MYA) or the national average loan rate for the covered commodity.

If you have questions about these programs, please contact the Wake County Farm Service Agency office at (919) 231-6126 or email larry.d.adams@usda.gov.

Let USDA Help You Prepare for Tax Season

Preparing your taxes? USDA technical assistance is free, but it is important to not overlook USDA payments when calculating your taxes. USDA issues documentation for your taxes, including 1098 forms for USDA farm loans and 1099 forms for farmer payments. Whether you are filing your taxes on your own or working with a professional accountant or tax preparer, you have 24/7 access to your loan information through a new feature on Farmers.gov. Access your information anytime through the “My Financial Information” portal.

Resource Conservation Workshop

For the second summer in a row, the COVID-19 global pandemic has cancelled the Resource Conservation Workshop (RCW).

The Wake District Board of Supervisors award full scholarships for local Wake County high school students to attend this week-long conservation camp at NCSU along with 100 other students from across the state. The workshop introduces these young people to a variety of natural resource careers, with the Wake District staff teaching the soil and water conservation field day. However, we remain hopeful that next year’s rising sophomores, juniors and seniors can apply for a scholarship in January to attend the 2022 RCW. Fingers crossed!

Wake County Big Sweep

To comply with Wake County’s COVID-19 response, Wake County Big Sweep for spring 2021 has been cancelled. The safety of our Big Sweep Zone Captains and volunteers is always top priority! Depending on the status of COVID-19, we hope to be back sweepin’ our creeks, lakes, wetlands and parks clean in fall 2021. Until our large-scale cleanups return, volunteers are encouraged to use the Ocean Conservancy’s special tool with litter cleanups at home (see details below!)

Litter? There’s an App for That!

Doing a litter cleanup at home? Check out the Ocean Conservancy’s FREE Clean Swell app that anyone can use anywhere, anytime! When creating your account, start your group name with “Wake-___” and finish with a unique name like “Wake-ClancyStreet” or “Wake-Troop345.” Avoid using “FallsLake” or “NeuseRiver,” as that may confuse your data with that of other groups. The app is easy to use, plus it tracks EVERY cleanup and EVERY piece of litter you enter. As an extra incentive, virtual badges are awarded for reaching collection milestones! How many will you earn? Have fun volunteers and follow these Steps for Safety!

Enjoying Your Woods Webinar #3: Citizen Science and Enjoying your Woodlands Safely

March 11, 2021 1-2:30 p.m.

Going Wild with Citizen Science: Karen Clark, Center Director, NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Enjoying your Woods Safely: Kelly Douglass, Wildlife Disease Biologist, USDA Wildlife Services

Save the Dates for These Upcoming Webinars!

April 8, 1-2:30 p.m. - Hunting Leases, Land Posting, and Trespassing Laws

May 13, 1-2:30 p.m. - Non-Timber Income & Agritourism

June 10, 1-2:30 p.m. - Forest Certification & Cost-share Programs

July 8, 1-2:30 p.m. - Property Taxes & Estate Planning

For more information about ForestHer NC, email foresthernc@gmail.com.

Follow ForestHer NC on Facebook and Instagram!

Capital Area Food Network Resources

Capital Area Food Network (CAFN) is a community-led non-profit of Wake County citizens and organizations working together to support, sustain, and improve our local food system. They welcome new voices and members interested in helping reach their mission: To cultivate healthy individuals, communities, and economies through vibrant food and farm systems.

CAFN has put together a host of Covid-19 resources for farmers, small business, and families on their website. Resources include information about mini grants, food pantries, produce market assistance, and online selling platforms.

Stream Bank Repair Workshop

NC State University's Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) Department partnered with Wake Soil and Water Conservation District to host a Stream Repair workshop on February 9th in Raleigh, NC. Attendees learned how to protect and improve the natural environment of streams by stabilizing the stream bank and other eroding areas. NC State University and other local experts provided practical, cost-effective solutions using natural materials and native plants to create a healthy streamside.

Live stakes of silky willow, silky dogwood, and elderberry inserted along the stream bank.

Attendees participated in hands-on stream protection practices including installing live-stakes, fascines, and coir matting to fix an eroding stream bank. After the workshop, attendees were eligible to take an online certification exam to become certified in Stream Bank Repair by NC State University Extension.

Participants installing fascines and securing coir matting with wooden stakes. Live stakes were added along the coir matting and stream bank for added protection.

The Triangle Land Conservancy has recently opened the Bailey and Sarah Williamson Preserve in eastern Wake County.

The Williamson Preserve is open to the public and has over 7.5 miles of walking and mountain biking trails onsite. The Preserve is also a working farm, focused on regenerative agriculture practices. Currently the preserve has two exciting farm projects onsite, Newbold Farms (raising pastured beef) and Leaf & Limb's Project Pando (raising native trees).

TLC staff are looking for additional new or beginning farmers/gardeners who would like to explore partnership possibilities on the property. If you are a farmer or gardener that would be interested in 1-2 acres of space for raising annual crops, raising bees or small livestock, or have an interest in community gardening, please reach out to Eliza Lawdley, Farm Manager, at elawdley@triangleland.org. Interested growers should reach out for more information during the month of March 2021.

Raleigh Watershed Learning Network (RWLN)

Southeast Raleigh based Partners for Environmental Justice (PRJ) is conducting a six-part program called Raleigh Watershed Learning Network (RWLN). This education program inspires participants to gain knowledge and skills to develop sustainable solutions and take action in their communities and watershed. RWLN focuses on Walnut Creek, specifically in areas prone to flooding. The goal of this program is to bolster more community engagement within the Walnut Creek watershed. If you are interested in this opportunity or similar programs, please contact programdirector@pejraleighnc.org.

Meetings and Closures:

March 10 - Wake SWCD Board Meeting

April 2 - Good Friday, Office Closed

April 14 - Wake SWCD Board Meeting

May 12 - Wake SWCD Board Meeting

May 31 - Memorial Day, Office Closed

If you have any questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to email us at swcd@wakegov.com or call 919-250-1051.

Agricultural Services Building, 4001-D Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610

Credits:

Created with images by MRenn - "Pollinator Haven" • JBeck - "Grass waterway need"• JBeck - "KTF2020" • LPetrovick - "mulching film" • jarmoluk - "money bills calculator" • LPetrovick - "farmers market" • MRenn - "hands on learning" • JBeck - "live stakes along the bank" • MRenn - "coir matting" • MRenn - "white barn" • ELawdley - "happy hands" • Tama66 - "forest bach creek" • MRenn - "silver spotted skipper"