Conservation Update  
May 23 - June 5, 2013 
Pathway to Water Quality Volunteer Signups Delayed
Due to technical issues, volunteer signups will open up online tomorrow, June 6, at 8 a.m. Pathway volunteers get to share the message of conservation with the general public and enjoy a variety of benefits in return for their help! PWQ is staffed by volunteers throughout the Indiana State Fair. It is an excellent opportunity to share our conservation method and educate visitors about water conservation and watershed health. Do you work in a USDA Service Center? Consider signing up with people in your area and carpooling to the State Fair for a volunteer shift! If not, you can still share resources. Contact your conservation partners in neighboring counties and share rides!

Supervisor Summit Registration Now Open
Join other SWCD chairs and vice-chairs at a workshop geared specifically towards the leadership roles of these important positions. Interactive sessions will explore and build upon concepts of Supervisor responsibilities and challenges, the importance of employing and properly rewarding excellent staff, multi-district success stories, and growing quality relationships and partnerships. Discussions will be led by fellow SWCD Supervisors and other Partnership leaders. Cost is $20 which includes the lunch buffet. Register, find the day's agenda, and more online at, or
download a PDF flyer.

Seminar: Irrigation in a Conservation Cropping System, June 21
This event is designed for professional and retired conservationists, academia, educators, farmers, and those that want to know more about irrigation. Topics will include irrigation water management, soil moisture assessment, nitrogen management, soil health and moisture holding capacity, irrigation with no-till and cover crops, scheduling, economics, area groundwater nitrogen concerns, successful SWCD programs and grants, and more! Hear from farmers that are successfully irrigating in the area and specialists that understand the complexities. Interested persons can learn more and register online here.

NACD Poster Contest Information
Please send entries to IASWCD at 225 S. East St., Ste. 740, Indianapolis, IN  46202 by July 15.

Thank You, Districts! 

Thank you to the Districts who have submitted their 2013 dues. We envision the IASWCD as a leader in soil and water conservation through the coordination, encouragement and support of local SWCD activities. This in turn builds a statewide awareness of critical conservation issues. Please review our Annual Report for more information on our actions and accomplishments in 2012. View the list of Districts who have paid their dues here.


Have a great week!
Jennifer Boyle Warner, IASWCD Executive Director

CCSI Has Launched a New Website!
We are excited to announce the unveiling of a fresh, clean website for CCSI! Check it out at With several modern features and tons of proven conservation information and resources, we hope conservationists will enjoy the new layout. We would love to hear what you think - please email any comments to [email protected]


Science-Based Conservation  

From 2012 to 2015, scientists will have the opportunity to test conservation practices on real farms. CCSI's twelve Hub farmers will host a total of seventeen demonstration sites that compare their current conservation systems with programs that introduce new practices. Strip trials on each farmer's land will quantify the impacts of cover crops, no-till/strip till, and crop rotation systems on soil chemical, physical, and biological properties and their relationships with nutrient cycling, soil water availability and crop growth. Samples include basic soil fertility, soil moisture, soil nitrate,soil temperature, cover crop biomass, and new soil health tests. Test results will be compiled and analyzed by Purdue University, a recognized leader in agriculture science.  


Keep updated with CCSI events on Facebook and Twitter 

Conservation News Digest

Cover Crops to Improve Soil in "Prevented Planting" Fields

Prolonged rain and flooding has once again resulted in many fields that will go unplanted this year. Indiana farmers in this situation need to weigh not only their program and insurance options (prevented planting), but should also consider the opportunities to promote long-term productivity from this difficult situation.


According to Barry Fisher, State Soil Health Specialist with the Indiana NRCS, "the benefits of cover crops are vast and will lead to improved soil health. An important soil health concept is to ensure there is green vegetation and growing roots at all times of the year. Cover crops fix and/or hold onto unused nitrogen and other nutrients; build organic matter; control weeds; control erosion and/or improve soil health during the remainder of the season." Read the full story.  


Funding for Conservation Programs Available 

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Indiana is accepting applications from landowners interested in the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP). Additoinally, Conservation Stewardship applications are due soon.  


SURE Payments Application Deadline Approaching

The SURE program compensates producers for production and/or quality losses during times of disaster. All producers who have experienced crop production and/or crop quality losses during the 2011 crop year must apply for SURE program benefits by the June 7, 2013 deadline. For more information on the SURE Program, contact your local FSA office or visit the FSA website

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Upcoming Events

June 11:
Farming for Beneficial Insects (Webinar)

June 21:
Irrigation in a Conservation Cropping System (Hoosier SWCS Summer Meeting)


June 27: 

Surface Mining Soils & Reclamation Field Day (producers needed -please see our calendar for info)  

CCSI and Soil Health Events

Hub Field Day
June 25, Decatur Co.
"Using Cover Crops For Weed and Pest Management"
Register online!
Upcoming Deadlines

July 15:

National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge
This cost-share grant program supports national urban and community forestry projects on non-federal public land that have a national or widespread impact and application.



Other News
2013 Agronomy Field Day
 This popular field day will take place on July 24 in Waterloo, IN. Check out the IASWCD calendar for an agenda and registration information.

CTIC Tour Deadline Extended

The Conservation in Action Tour registration deadline has been extended to June 12. Learn more and register online here.

Conservation Legacy Award Nominations Open 

The American Soybean Association is looking for soybean farmers to tell their stories of conservation on their farms. These stories help to show how U.S. soybean farmers are committed to protecting the soil, water, and air through outstanding environmental and conservation practices, while still being able to farm profitably. Applications are due August 5.

NACD Webinar 

The next NACD Urban and Community Conservation Webinar is scheduled for 11:00am EST on June 20. Speakers will talk about green infrastructure, which is often defined as "the interconnected natural systems and ecological processes that provide clean water, air quality and wildlife habitat." To register, email [email protected].


USDA Task Force Clearing Up Cover Crop Rules

A special USDA task force plans to issue "harmonized" cover-crop rules later this year to eliminate conflicts around crop-insurance policies and potentially remove a significant barrier to cover-crop adoption. Read the full article.


EPA Releases Guide and Online Module for Developing Effective Watershed Plans

EPA has released a guide to developing watershed plans to restore and protect our waters, which summarizes a 2008 handbook for developing watershed plans to restore and protect our waters, as well as a companion online module, "An Introduction to Watershed Planning." The guide and module provide a summary of the handbook and also highlight some new watershed-related tools that have been developed since 2008 that can be used for more effective decision-making leading to improved management of our water resources.  


Scotts Miracle-Gro Removes Phosphorus from Garden Products

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company recently announced it has achieved its goal of removing phosphorus from its category-leading Turf Builder brand lawn food maintenance products. The commitment was first announced on World Water Day in 2011 as a partial solution to nutrient runoff that can lead to excessive algae growth in waterways, and it marked a major sustainability milestone in the lawn and garden category.