UVM Extension - Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture TeamAPRIL 2012 
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Jeff Carter
Extension Agronomist
(802) 388-4969 ext.332

Rico Balzano
Agronomy Outreach Professional
(802) 388-4969 ext.338

Kirsten Workman
Agronomy Outreach Professional
(802) 388-4969 ext.347

Cheryl Cesario
Grazing Outreach  Professional 
(802) 388-4969 ext. 346 
email TBA 

Poultney Mettowee NRCD
(802) 558-6470


UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work.

  Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. 


University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

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Q: ELSIE...Why is there a winter manure spreading ban in Vermont and why did it get lifted early this year?Ask ELSIE

A: Research has shown that manure applications on frozen ground can increase runoff potential, creating a possible water quality problem. Since 1995, Vermont has chosen to ban spreading manure from December 15th to April 1st each year to protect water quality.  This year the ban was lifted 11 days early (on March 21st) as a result of unusually warm and dry weather, lack of snow and projected dry weather forecasts.  The Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets in agreement with the Agency of Natural Resources and Vermont Association of Conservation Districts made this decision to help farmers best manage their manure resources and take advantage of good weather to prevent application of manure later when conditions may not be as good.  This decision was a win win for farmers and Vermont's waterways.

For more information you can visit the Vermont Agency of Agriculture's press release about the lifting of the winter spreading ban here.

If you would like to Ask ELSIE? a question, please email her by clicking  HERE.

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UVM Extension
Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture Team
Thanks for taking the time to read our newsletter.  We hope you find it full of useful information and exciting events.  Spring has arrived in Vermont...a little earlier than normal this year. Thus, field work is commencing early as well.  As you head out in the field, be sure call, email or stop by to chat with any member of our team about issues you are experiencing on your farm this season!

Please read our new Ask ELSIE? feature.  ELSIE will share her wisdom about Vermont livestock issues.

News and Events
For Vermont Farmers in the Lake Champlain Watershed
APRIL 2012
11th - RMA: Earliest Planting Date for Silage & Grain Corn        

30th - RMA: Earliest Planting Date for Soybeans
Click HERE for more Crop Insurance deadlines and dates.

The MFO Annual Compliance Report, or Appendix D, is required of all MFO's and is due by April 30 each year. Annual submission of the report is necessary to maintain compliance with the MFO General Permit. Appendix D is available online at: HERE. Please feel free to contact Nate Sands at (802) 224-6850, or Nathaniel.Sands@state.vt.us, with any questions.

Farm Agronomic Practices (FAP) Program update:

There is still funding available on a first-come-first-served basis for practices that will be implemented by June 30, 2012. The practices include: Conservation Crop Rotation, Nurse Crop Cover Cropping, Strip Cropping, Cross-Slope Tillage, Conservation Tillage,  Aeration Tillage, Alternative Manure Incorporation, and Summer Cover Cropping.

FAP Program information and applications are available HERE. Please submit an application prior to implementing any practices. Please feel free to contact Nate Sands at (802)224-6850, or Nathaniel.Sands@state.vt.us, with any questions.

CORN STARTER Phosphorus 
Does it make sense to use 48 lbs of P per acre  in your corn starter if your soil test levels are already high?  NO.  10 to 30 lbs in starter band has proven adequate in Vermont tests...save $$ and water quality.   For information about proper application rates of phosphorus in your corn plantings, contact a member of our team. 



Corn isn't even in the ground yet, but you should already be thinking about your nitrogen side-dress for optimum yields.  Cornell's Adapt-N method can ensure you spend your N dollars wisely.  UVM Extension is helping farmers use this tool effectively and do some strip trials this year.  If you are interested in participating, give Jeff Carter a call at (802) 388-4969 ext. 332 or an  jeff.carter@uvm.edu.

Back up your computer files right now..before the busy field season is in full swing.  Don't lose important information needlessly!

notillNO-TILL DRILLS...coming soon!
UVM Extension has ordered two no-till drills scheduled to arrive in May...NOT in time for spring seeding, but there will be plenty of opportunity to drill clover and grasses after first cut or in pastures.  If the growing season goes poorly, you might use them to seed a BMR Sudex/soy mix.  If you are interested, contact Jeff Carter at (802) 388-4969 ext. 332 or jeff.carter@uvm.edu
APRIL 2012
17th - Alluvial Soils Workshopalluvial soils workshop
  Rutland County - 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Farmers, Landowners, and conservation professionals.  Look at serious erosion/inundation issues with alluvial soils and explore options to lessen sediment loads and protect floodplain soils.  The afternoon will be spent on farm.  FREE workshop.  Contact Nancy McGuire (Rutland NRCD) at (802) 775-8034 ext. 17 or nanci.mcguire@vt.nacdnet.net

UVM Extension, in partnership with the Farmers Watershed Alliance, has three AerWay aerators available to rent at $3 per acre.  The units are moving from farm to farm around Addison and Chittenden counties, but are currently located in Bristol, Cornwall and Richmond.  Use of this equipment in conjunction with manure spreading is eligible for cost-share funding from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture's FAP program at between $12 and $25 per acre.  Call Nate Sands (802) 828-0459 if you are interested in financial assistance.

Call NOW to schedule use of the equipment:
Rico Balzano | (802) 388-4969 x338 | rico.balzano@uvm.edu

View a video of the AerWay in action at a recent workshop here.
Aerway Agressive.MP4
Aerway Agressive.MP4

It's not too late!  There is still time to collect and submit soil samples to the UVM Lab for analysis.  Soil tests only cost $14 each and provide you with valuable information that can save you money in your fertilizer budget, while optimizing yields. 

Time is the best time to collect your manure samples!!  Know the true nutrient value of your manure.  It is  a valuable source of nutrients for your crops and pastures, not a wast product to get rid of.  Manure samples cost $35 and play an important role in your farm's nutrient management.

Drop off your samples at your local Extension office and we'll take them to the lab for you!!  Click HERE for the UVM Agricultural Testing Lab's website
 *   *   *   *   * 
If you are looking for assistance with proper sampling protocol, would like to borrow a soil probe, or need a manure, compost or soil sampling materials, please feel free to contact Kirsten Workman for assistance: kirsten.workman@uvm.edu | (802) 388-4969 x347

soil penetrometerUVM Extension has a simple tool called a Soil Penetrometer you can use to determine the depth and extent of compaction in your soils.  Why is this important?  Excessive compaction can cause adverse impacts in crop yields by:
  •  impeding root growth,  
  • decreasing water and nutrient uptake,  
  • causing stunted and drought-stressed plants in dry years,  
  • reducing yields, increasing disease risk, and  
  • increasing erosion and runoff issues. 
Compaction is caused by many things, but most commonly by tillage, raindrop impact, wheel traffic, livestock and insufficient crop rotation.  If you think compaction may be an issue in any of your fields, you can borrow the penetrometer and we'll show you how to take some simple readings and help you figure out ways to mitigate compaction like
  • using the AerWay,  
  • implementing no-till systems,  
  • staying off wet fields or  
  • using cover crops and alternative crop rotations.  

Call or email a member of the team for more information.

APRIL 2012
19th - Fly Management on Your Organic Dairy (Essex, VT)  9:30 am to 2:00fly pm
Join us to learn from nationally known entomologists who will share their reserach and experience on fly control management strategies for your organic dairy farm. A panel discussion will follow the speakers' presenations.
Contact Deb Heleba at (802) 656-4046 or dheleba@uvm.edu for more information
       Register for the FREE worskhop HERE by April 12th!! 

24th - Livestock Fencing Options & Common Mistakes (Webinar) 7:00 pm
The UVM Extesnion New Farmer Project offers on online webinar by Colin Kennard    of Wellscroft Fencing Systems in Chesham, NH.  Participate in the webinar here.

We have received some calls and been out in the field visiting fields that are experiencing delayed impacts from Irene flooding.  In particular, Reed Canary pastures & hay fields in floodplains that received flooding during the storm.  As dormancy breaks, it has become clear that some of these stands are completely dead.  Get out in your fields and take a look.  If you have a field that is need of reseeding, please give us a call and we can assist you.
Jeff Carter | (802) 388-4969 ext. 332 | jeff.carter@uvm.edu

It's not too late to apply N on grass.  Economic responses can be obtained from between 40 and 200 lbs of N per acre, depending on yield, management and legume content.  An optimum schedule for application of manure and/or additional N fertilizer is to split it into multiple smaller applications of 40 to 75 lbs of N and apply before each significant regrowth occurs - in early spring and after first and second cuts.  For more information about nitrogen application on grass, contact a member our team at (802) 388-4969.

The UVM Extension Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team is pleased to welcome Cheryl Cesario to our team.  Cheryl joins the team as our new Grazing Outreach Specialist and arrives just in time for the grazing season to assist cherylproducers with grazing plans and general grazing management. Cheryl has spent the last eight years with the Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) certification program, and graduated with a degree in Animal Science from the University of New Hampshire and a Master's degree from the University of Vermont in Plant and Soil Science. Her agricultural experiences include vegetable farm and greenhouse management, seasonal orchard work, and relief milking on dairy farms. She and her husband Marc graze their animals at their farm, Meeting Place Pastures, in Cornwall.  You'll be hearing more from Cheryl very soon, but feel free to give her a call at (802) 388-4969 ext. 346 if you have any grazing questions.
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Jeff Carter,
Extension Agronomist
UVM Extension- Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture Team