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Beginning Farmers Tackle Water Quality Concerns

A heifer is up to its belly in mud not only causing a water quality concern but also an animal health concern.

A heifer is up to its belly in mud not only causing a water quality concern but also an animal health concern.
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Before working with NRCS, livestock were given full access to this small stream

Before installing conservation practices, livestock were allowed full access to this small stream.
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Schoharie, New York - July, 2013

Beginning farmers Derrick and Nicole DeBoer started At Ease Acres farm back in 2006 and started to raise 60 head of quality Angus cattle. By 2009 the DeBoer’s were introduced to NRCS and were preapproved for an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) contract focused on grazing. After evaluating the farm the field office noticed that a number of resource concerns could be addressed. One of the biggest resource concerns was water quality. The animals had full access to the pond and streams on the property.

A conservation plan was developed that included fence line to eliminate the animals from water courses, a stream crossing to allow animals to maneuver to the other paddocks, and a watering system to insure that the animals were able to receive water. Construction has been an ongoing process with most of the installation being done in the summer of 2012.

Since the installation of these practices not only have the resource concerns been addressed, but the DeBoer’s are able to manage their farm more efficiently. After one year of installation the DeBoer’s have reported that all the practices are functioning properly and they are very happy with the improvements. Of course conservation planning is always evolving and the DeBoer’s are fully committed to continue their conservation efforts with NRCS.

NRCS offers voluntary programs that provide financial and technical assistance to eligible agricultural producers who are willing to address priority environmental issues by implementing conservation practices. If you are interested in learning more about how conservation programs may protect natural resources on your farm, please contact your local NRCS Office.

 

A completed watering system showing the pumping plant and a portion of the piping A finished fence and animal trail with stream crossing A completed stream crossing made from concrete cattle slats
A completed watering system showing the pumping plant and a portion of the piping.
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A finished fence and animal trail with stream crossing. Full screen view A completed stream crossing made from concrete cattle slats.
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