ST. CLAIR, Ill. — Recent rains may have halted harvest operations temporarily, but District Conservationist Michael Birchler in St. Clair County wants to use the time to remind farmers to take a good look around while they are out in the fields.
“Farmers are out there evaluating how crops and yields look this year. They’re thinking about what they could do different or change for next year,” Birchler says.
Birchler, who works for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), also knows that during harvest, farmers drive over every acre of cropland and they see the land up close and personal. He encourages farmers to evaluate how their conservation program is working to protect natural resources — erosion concerns, soil productivity, infiltration, or water management issues.
“If you see anything that concerns you, give your District Conservationist or NRCS team a call. Set up a time for us to come out to the farm. We can help you look things over after all the crops are off the field and we can see the big picture, the whole watershed, your drainage area,” Birchler explains.
NRCS staff can provide this one-on-one technical assistance in Fall, Winter, and early Spring when there’s good visibility. “Once we’ve seen what’s going on and discussed what you want to do, we can offer up ideas, options, or programs that can help address those concerns. That’s what we do,” Birchler adds.
So while you’re out in the combine over the next few weeks, take a good look around. Then make an appointment with your local NRCS team. To find your local county team, visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/il/contact/local/.
— USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
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