Upcoming Events:

RiverWatch Training - Location and Time TBA (Spring/Summer 2022)

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The stated mission of IDEMs RiverWatch program is:  "To involve the citizens of Indiana in becoming active stewards of Indiana's water resources through watershed education, water monitoring, and clean-up activities."  It's a great opportunity for members of the community to get to know their local rivers and streams and the challenges that go along with maintaining these valuable resources.

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The RiverWatch Workshop will train you to test for basic water-quality parameters like dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, pH, E. coli bacteria and others.  It will also teach you how to sample for and identify aquatic insects, and how the the species found can give an indication of the quality of the water and local habitat.

Training is free and students high school age and older are welcome.

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Septic System Maintenance Workshop - Location and Time TBA (Summer 2022)

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What is a Septic System?


Septic systems are individual treatment systems that use the soil to treat small wastewater flows, usually from single homes. They are typically used on large lots or in rural areas that lack centralized wastewater treatment facilities.

Systems consist of four major components: a pipe from the home, a septic tank, an absorption field, and the soil. Household wastewater is temporarily held in the septic tank where the heavy solids and lighter scum are allowed to separate from the wastewater. This separation process is known as primary treatment. The solids stored in the tank are decomposed by bacteria and later removed along with the lighter scum by a septic system professional. From there liquids move out into the absorption field where microbes in the soil digest or remove most contaminants from the wastewater before it reaches the groundwater.

What will you learn at this field day?  

A representative from the Marshall County Health Department will provide information on rules and regulations regarding septic systems, and will discuss information related to Regional Sewer District Formation.  In addition, a local septic system installer will discuss the types of septic systems available, and provide information on proper maintenance and repair.

Cover Crop Field Day - Location and Time TBA (Fall 2022)

What is a Cover Crop?

 

An herbaceous plant, such as grasses, forbs, and legumes that are established for seasonal cover, and for conservation and soil health purposes.  They are generally planted in late summer or fall after harvest and depending on the species either winter kill or are terminated in the spring before planting.  Some species allow the farmer to plant green, or no-till plant primary crops into actively growing cover crops.

 

What specific plants are used for Cover Crops in Indiana?

 

There are a variety of plants used for cover crops throughout Indiana. It largely depends on what your goals are what you should plant.  Do you want to graze cattle on it or are you interested in spring weed suppression?  Do you want it to winter kill, or will you terminate in the spring or plant green?  Are your main problems compaction or erosion control?  Your goals will determine which plants will best suit your needs. Common plants used for cover crops in Indiana include: Cereal Rye, Triticale, Barley, Wheat, Hairy Vetch, Annual Ryegrass, White Clover, Crimson Clover, Rapeseed, Turnips, Radishes, Oats, Sorgum-sudan, Millet, Buckwheat and Sun Hemp.

What are the benefits of Cover Crops?

There are a host of benefits that can be gained through the use of cover crops.  The specific benefits you desire

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to achieve will help determine which cover crops you use.  Benefits include:  reduced soil erosion, weed suppression, increased soil porosity and infiltration, reduction of soil compaction, nutrient scavenging and/or production, and increased organic matter; all which result in improved soil health and protection of water quality.

What to expect at the field day?

This cover crop field day will give attendees an opportunity to see a field planted with cover crops after wheat.  Several species mixes will be planted to provide an example of what to expect,  In addition, cover crop professionals and farmers with experience in the use of cover crops will be available to answer questions and share their successes.  

Agricultural Nutrient Management - Location and Time TBA (Winter 2022)

This workshop is still under development.