West Virginia Conservation Agency  •  1900 Kanawha Blvd. E. •  Charleston, WV 25305  •  304-558-2204

Little Kanawha District

   Calhoun, Ritchie, Roane, <br>Wirt, and Wood

Serving Calhoun, Ritchie, Roane,
Wirt, and Wood counties

District Manager:
Jess Nichols
91 Boyles Lane
Parkersburg, WV 26104
Phone: (304) 422-9088
Fax: (304) 422-9086
Email: LKCD@wvca.us
Driving Directions


2015 Forestry Contest

(Flickr Album - Click on sides of picture to navigate to the next or previous picture)

District Supervisors

- Mike Nichols

- Roger Shaver

- Norma Collins

- Dexter Graham

- Delmas Carr

- Ivan Banks

- Judy Saunders

- Roger Collins

- Rose Ann Adams

- Sam Sheets

Recent Activity

Warm Weather Good for Some, Bad for Farmers - 2/24/17
posted by: Jessica Nichols

Reprint from The Wheeling Intelligencer, article by Heather Ziegler, Associate City Editor

When February turns to March, the Ohio Valley is headed into the weather record books with above-normal temperatures.

According to meteorologist Tom Green at the National Weather Service, January marked the 12th month in a row that Pittsburgh and the local region have experienced above-average temperatures. It is highly likely that statistic will jump to 13 months when February rolls up its warm carpet.

Green said today the high temperature will continue in the 60s with a predicted high of 76 degrees on tap for Friday. A cold front will bring thunderstorms to the area between midnight Friday and continue through noon Saturday. Winds could gust upward of 20-30 mph and a few wet snowflakes may mix in as temperatures drop into the 30s on Saturday night, Green said.

"The Friday forecast of 76 will shatter the record. In fact, each of the next three days you will see above-record temperatures in Wheeling," Green said.

While many Ohio Valley residents are praising the mild winter, the warmer climate poses specific issues for farmers.

Ohio County residents Lisa and Roger White operate a cattle farm on Stone Church Road. Lisa White said the fluctuation of temperatures is cause for concern.

"It's good for me, bad for the animals. They are a little uncomfortable when it's this warm," she said. "It's irritating to them so the cattle start rubbing off their fur. It's really too early for them to do that. They need that fur when it turns cold -- and it will again -- and for when the spring rains come."

The warm temperatures and rainfall have caused very muddy conditions for farmers. Lisa White said they have experienced two pasture slips because the ground has become saturated and is not frozen. She said the cattle are walking through the mud, creating deep pockets with their hooves.

"When that freezes again it will be very difficult to walk on. It's like walking on stalagmite. It's terribly muddy. I donát remember a winter this bad but my husband said he remembers a few times like this year," she said.

Lisa White said some of her neighbors are taking advantage of the warm weather and have been spreading manure on their fields, which could lead to earlier crops of hay.

"That's almost unheard of in February. We would be doing that, too, but my husband has been fighting the flu this week. ... People don't realize what goes into farming. Every day we have to be scientists, nutritionists, veterinarians and caretakers of the earth."

In January, the local area saw four days with temperatures above 60 degrees, including a 65-degree day on Jan. 12. So far in February, there have been four days of 60-plus-degree weather, including a 68-degree day on Feb. 18. The rest of the week will add to that total, Green said.

Green cautioned that the meteorological winter extends from Dec. 1 through the end of February, although Mother Nature begs to differ. He and others recall many March snowstorms, often referred to as the St. Patrick's Day snowstorm regardless of the actual date the storms have occurred.

In addition to the warm temperatures, snowfalls have been few and far between this year. Pittsburgh typically records 1 inch less snowfall in March than in December.

"It's usually very close," Green said.

The National Weather Service suggests that from March through May, there is a 43-percent chance of above-normal temperatures in the Wheeling area. Green said those weather projections are updated monthly and often change.

New law would reduce reporting requirements for conservation programs - 2/23/17
posted by: Jessica Nichols

Representatives Rick Crawford and Ann McLane Kuster offer bill to streamline reporting requirements for participants in conservation programs.

Two congressmen from opposite sides of the aisle and very different regions of the country have filed a bill aimed at making it easier for farmers to apply for conservation programs administered by USDA.

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., and Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., introduced the Improving Access to Farm Conservation Act or H.R. 1163 to ease the financial reporting requirements for farm conservation programs administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The new bill would address an “unintended consequence” of federal law governing the structure of farm organizations. Although they are family farms; i.e., owned solely by family members, many farming operations have organized themselves as business entities for legal purposes. Federal law requires those to provide much more information to USDA than individuals.

“If we want more producers to engage in conservation efforts, we’ve got to make sure that it makes financial sense for them to do so,” said Rep. Crawford, who represents the heavily agriculturally-oriented area of eastern Arkansas.

“While well-intentioned, we’ve learned that the DUNS/SAM reporting requirements pose an unnecessary burden on producers and made it much harder for farmers to participate in conservation programs. Our bill will remove these requirements so that our farmers can focus on implementing conservation strategies, instead of having to worry about complying with costly regulatory mandates.”

Farmers and ranchers voluntarily participate in the wide range of conservation programs offered through NRCS; many of these programs offer a cost-share payment which helps producers with the cost of implementing conservation measures. However, small farmers registered as business entities are inadvertently forced to comply with an annual federal reporting regulation that is time consuming, difficult to navigate, and costly to comply.

“New Hampshire’s identity is deeply rooted in our state’s beautiful open spaces and our rich tradition of agriculture,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “If we can encourage farmers to protect their farm land in a way that keeps them competitive and in business, that’s a win-win for farmers and our state. It’s commonsense that small family farms shouldn’t be subjected to the same reporting regulations as large Federal contractors, and this legislation will cut red tape for New Hampshire farmers who want to access important voluntary conservation programs.”

Many of NRCS’ programs offer a cost-share payment which helps farmers with the cost of implementing these conservation measures. Programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) focus on planning and implementing conservation measures that improve soil, water and plant quality on agricultural land. EQIP can also help producers meet Federal, State and local environmental regulations.

The Improving Access to Farm Conservation Act would cut administrative red tape and lift a burdensome regulation that acts as a barrier to entry for similar NRCS programs.

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