Conservation Update  
June 5 - 19, 2013 
National Pollinator Week

More than three-fourths of the world's flowering plants rely on pollinators to reproduce, equating to one of every three bites of food people eat. Many plants would be unable to reproduce without the help of pollinators. Scientists attribute a number of factors, including habitat loss, disease, parasites and overuse of pesticides for pollinators' peril. Agencies and partners across the country are working on science-based solutions to support pollinators. Each June, NRCS and conservation partners salute pollinators during "National Pollinator Week" June 17-23. Agricultural producers can contact their local USDA service center for information on how to create ideal habitats for pollinators and increase populations in simple and significant ways. Field borders, hedgerows and conservation cover are three simple examples of pollinator-friendly practices. 


Pathway to Water Quality Volunteer Signups  
Volunteer signup is off to a great start! Pathway volunteers Pathway banner 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!


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 News 

June 25 CCSI Field Day: The Use of Cover Crops in Weed and Pest Management, with Dale Mutch of MSU
The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative is coordinating a field day focusing on the use of cover crops in weed and pest management. This June workshop will feature Dr. Dale Mutch of Michigan State University and Michigan's representative to the Midwest Cover Crops Council. Mutch is well-known and respected for his work on the use of cover crops in pest and weed management. The workshop takes place from 1-7 p.m. on June 25, on Roger Wenning's farm in Decatur County. For an agenda, map, and to register, go to


CCSI Mentor Program 

The CCSI Mentoring Program is designed to put Indiana producers in touch with mentors and/or consultants for individual technical assistance to help implement conservation practices recognized as beneficial through CCSI. Soil Health Program Manager Lisa Holscher says, "Mentors earn pay for their expertise and farmers choose the mentor they believe will best fit their farming operation. It's a match for the farmer and mentor." Holscher says the farmer receives conservation tips, tricks and guidance from someone who "has been there, done that. They are learning from a mentor who has already made the mistakes so they don't have to!" Read more here. 


Keep updated with CCSI events on Facebook and Twitter  

Conservation News Digest

Dangerous Invasive Plant Alert:
Giant Hogweed

A message from the State Conservationist 

The Giant Hogweed is both invasive and dangerous. The plant has  been of concern in northern states for many years and was first spotted in Indiana in 2004. The plant looks like a mutant cross between a rhubarb plant and Queen Anne's lace. The flower is like a big Queen Anne's lace with a fleshy red stem and big leaves. This plant is especially dangerous to humans who come in contact with its sap, which is phototoxic and reacts on the skin with sunlight. You will notice itching and burning immediately when skin is exposed to sunlight. Be wary of it because everyone is susceptible and the scars from the blisters can last for years. Sap in the eyes can cause temporary or permanent blindness. Unless you have protective clothing, avoid it completely. If you spot this invasive plant - stay away and report it to the Indiana Invasive Species Taskforce. Please share this information widely with friends and family. 


Practices Improving Soil Health Also Reduce Erosion in Extreme Weather

From drought to flood conditions, it seems there is no longer a "normal" growing season for Indiana farmers. A year of extreme heat and drought in 2012 was followed by a cool, wet spring. These types of weather extremes can be very damaging to Indiana's soils, but farmers who are applying soil health practices like cover crops and no-till are benefiting the most. Besides cover crops and no-till, conservation practices that improve soil health include crop rotations, and responsible nutrient and pest management applications. Indiana's growing numbers of soil health farmers are well into planting since the rains have let up, but as you can guess, they are already planning for fall cover crop plantings. Read the full news release at NRCS' site. 

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Upcoming Events

June 27:

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


June 28:

Hamilton Co. Soil Quality Field Day  


July 13:

Wabash RiverFest


July 24:

Agronomy Field Day


August 28:

IFB Drainage School 


September 24 - 25:

Indiana District Employees' Association Annual Conference 

CCSI and Soil Health Events

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

June 27:

River Friendly Farmer award application


July 12:

Application for District Showcase Award


September 9:

IASWCD Annual Award Applications for:

Conservation Farmer of the Year

Supervisor of the Year

Friend of Conservation


All award applications are available for download here 


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.


October 15: 

 Wild Ones Invites Applications for Native Plant Education Projects: Grants of up to $500 will be awarded to schools, nonprofits, and other nonprofit places of learning working on projects that use native plants to develop an appreciation for nature among students. 




Other News
IFB Drainage School

Indiana Farm Bureau's Drainage School, a seminar focusing on Indiana drainage issues, will take place on Aug. 28 at IFB's home office in downtown Indianapolis. The seminar's purpose is to promote an understanding of the laws and regulations that control drainage laws and dispute resolutions. It is open to farmers, public officials, agency personnel, attorneys and members of the public. Continuing education credits are being sought for attorneys and surveyors. This year's seminar features federal and local regulatory issues, duties of drainage boards and surveyors and surface water dispute mediation. Register here.