CONSERVATION ON THE FARM
Clallam Conservation District provides assistance to farm and livestock owners on a variety of land and livestock management topics. We can help you evaluate the capabilities and limitations of your land and identify the most appropriate Best Management Practices (BMPs) for your particular situation.
Don't have animals yet? Great, we can help you develop a plan before you bring animals onto your land. Already have animals? No problem, we can help you identify options for improving your property and livestock facilities. We encourage all farm and livestock owners to work with us to develop a farm conservation plan.
Through the farm planning process, District staff will work with you to evaluate current conditions on your farm and areas for improvement. Typically farm plans address the following practices:
Pasture Management - determine productivity and grazing capacity, identify grasses and weeds, efficiently manage irrigation water, develop a rotational grazing system.
Manure Management - estimate the volume of manure produced by livestock and options for safely storing and utilizing manure on your land.
Mud Management - Identifying causes of excessively muddy livestock areas on your farm and options for minimizing these areas.
Stream & Wetland Management - options for protecting streams and wetlands on your land.
Technical Guides for Horse & Livestock Owners:
IRRIGATION WATER MANAGEMENT RESOURCES:
Program Available to Help Area Farmers
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program offers a unique opportunity for local farmers to receive technical and financial help to make farm improvements. Through a partnership between Clallam Conservation District, the Washington State Conservation Commission, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), up to 90% of the costs of conservation practice installation on farms located within the Sequim Bay-Dungeness Watershed Clean Water District may be covered. The Clean Water District includes the Bagley Creek drainage east to and including the Sequim Bay drainage. The cost-share assistance is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) offered through the NRCS.
Eligible projects will protect water quality, conserve irrigation water, and improve wildlife habitat, while also increasing your production and improving your soil and animal health. Contact the Conservation District at 360-775-3747 ext. 5 for more details.
Check out this new guide from the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board for protecting your horses and livestock from toxic plants!
Prepping Your Farm for Winter
Don’t overgraze pastures. Maintain a 3” to 4” stubble height going into the fall. Carbohydrate reserves are reduced in overgrazed grasses, which will starve new young grass shoots and slow or stop root formation, resulting in less forage during the next year’s grazing season.
Mow and drag pastures after grazing to spread out manure, and clip weeds and old grass plants.
Apply lime. Raising the pH of your soil with lime helps grass plants better utilize nutrients present in the soil, and the fall and winter rains will help the lime incorporate into your soil. Take a soil test to determine your lime needs (see info. box below).
Prepare for a mud-free winter by installing gravel footing in winter confinement areas and checking and replacing faulty gutters and downspouts on barns. Contact us to request a free copy of our Technical Guide with step-by-step information on designing a Heavy Use Areas.
Plan ahead for watering animals during the winter. Consider utilizing roof runoff water to fill stock watering tanks, and install frost free hydrants and stock tank heaters for watering animals during freezing conditions.