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From the Desk of
County Commissioner Weikert

(August, 2010) Need help with solving an agricultural conservation problem? Interested in preserving your stream corridor, wetlands, woodlands or wildlife habitat? Would you like help with an environmental presentation for your school classroom, community group or club? Having concerns about the West Nile Virus and all those mosquitoes on your stream or pond? Contact The Adams County Conservation District!

The ACCD works daily with farmers in Adams County to identify and resolve agricultural related issues and problems which may adversely affect crop production or our environment. From manure management to farm field erosion, soil testing and plant analysis, the ACCD has practices and procedures available to solve most every agricultural related concern. The district not only has the expertise and technical support required to tackle the task, they also have access to financial resources through various state and federal agencies to help the agricultural community put these best management practices in place.

As agriculture moves into the next decade, new innovative ways of producing crops and livestock will be evolving as the world attempts to feed a worldwide growing population. We simply need to produce more agricultural products at less cost to stay competitive in the world markets. No till crops have become the norm in Adams County, with the majority of medium to large scale farms utilizing the no till practices. No till farming saves fuel by applying herbicide, opening the soil, planting the seed and fertilizing all in one application. No till utilizes decaying vegetation as both a source of mulch to hold moisture and a source of natural fertilizer for the soil.

Continuing to utilize the top four to six inches of soil also helps to control soil erosion and decreases the need to add extra nitrogen to the soil. No till equipment is available for rent through the ACCD and new and advanced technology has allowed for the conversion of conventional equipment into the no till format. The fruit industry has also been at the forefront of technology change with the use of natural insect control, rather than pesticide use, low level runoff irrigation and mechanized trimming, pruning and harvesting practices. Robotic technology is soon to be the norm in producing more fruit at less cost in the orchards of the Adams County Fruit belt. Contact the Penn State Extension office in Gettysburg to find out about the exciting changes coming to Adams Counties Agricultural Community.

The dry months of June and July have increased everyone’s awareness of the availability of adequate sources of water. The ACCD provides watershed expertise and support to various organizations and committees in Adams County as we learn more about our most precious resource. Very little water flows into our county which means most of it flows away to the Monocracy and Susquehanna Rivers. I have learned that stream flow has a direct impact on aquifer recharge, plant growth and evaporation use up most of our summer rains and frozen ground assures most of our rain runs away. With all that knowledge I now realize that fall and early spring rains are what make our wells full of clean, clear, cold refreshing water. Want to learn more about your water supply contact the Watershed Specialist at the ACCD, the Watershed Alliance of Adams County or attend the next meeting of the Adams County Water Resources Advisory Committee.

Educating our children, young and old alike, in the need to protect our environment is a generational obligation we can not ignore. As we pass the torch of natural resource oversight to our children and grand children we must be sure they understand the importance of the task. Want to be able to identify trees by their leaves and bark, fish by their shape and color or birds common to our area? The ACCD provides the staff, materials and expertise to help educate your classroom, community group or club on the importance of conserving our precise natural resources. The Adams County 4H Extension Staff provide support to more than a twenty different clubs ranging from livestock to science and technology. Stop by the Adams County Conservation District and the Penn State Extension office at 670 Old Harrisburg Road in Gettysburg to see what printed and staff resources are available for you.

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