This summer, more than 60 area producers joined Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative (SVCC) partners to tour two local farms to learn about practices that increase farm efficiency and protect water quality by decreasing agricultural runoff into waterways.
Edom Springs Farm
At Edom Springs Farm in Rockingham County, the tour highlighted how rotational grazing on cropland planted with summer annual forage can increase water infiltration, decrease runoff, and more evenly distribute manure which reduces fertilizer needs for future crops.
LM Lawler Farm
The second tour at LM Lawler Farm in Page County showcased an agricultural conservation practice that is now eligible for financial and technical support from the Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share Program. This new practice provides cost-share funding for temporary fencing that enables livestock rotation through pastures along waterways that are prone to flooding while also excluding livestock from protected riparian areas. In these areas, temporary fencing is a more workable solution than permanent fencing, as temporary fencing can be easily taken down before periods of flooding, reducing the expense of repairing flood-damaged fencing.
If you own farm land or are a farmer or land manager (or hope to be soon!) and would like to host or participate in a future pasture walk, please reach out to SVCC Project Manager Kevin Tate.
All photos by Kevin Tate.