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   WAYNE COUNTY (APR 20 11) -- Did you know? Wayne County Agriculture is ranked 5th in New York State for total agriculture products sold -- 7th in grain, 10th in vegetables, 1st in fruits, tree nuts and berries, 4th in hogs and pigs, and 1st in apple production (2007 Census of Agriculture). 
   This extensive list gives a brief insight into the types of agricultural commodities that make up the County’s landscape and environmental makeup. As stewards of the land, farmers are continually looking for ways to continue to produce foods, while protecting their home lands and community. Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District (District) continues to work with local farmers for development of an AgricultureEnvironmental Management plan which includes planning for environmental concerns such as soil erosion and water quality. 

   These plans include crop rotationnutrient management which includes all fertilizer, both natural and chemical, and pesticides and encourage farmers with animals to include a grazing plan, funded in part by the Graze NY program (www.grazeny.org). However, one of the District’s greatest successes in the last 5 years was writing grant applications to achieve funding in partnership with farms in priority watersheds as part of the NYS Agriculture Non-point Source Abatement and Control Program. (http://www.nys-soilandwater.org/aem/nonpoint.html)

   So far, the District has been awarded two grants through this program that will bring environmental funding into the county totaling to over $700,000. This funding is a cost share program for implementation of approved Best Management Practices designed by environmental resources such as the USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Services (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/) to assist farms with agricultural-related pollution control and soil management projects -- 11 farms will be working with the District to construct these tools that will include: barnyard water management, silage leachate management, heavy use area protection, water and sediment control basins, and waste storage facilities through 2014. Other practices will include: exclusion fencing, animal trails and walkways, alternative water supply, diversions, stream crossings, access roads, grassed waterways, and roof runoff control; all for the main focus of clean water.
   One of the first farms to be implemented this summer will be Maple Lawn Farms, in Lyons , NY . This farm has been actively engaged in evaluating environmental concerns within their business and continues to manage those resource concerns. John Wolf, the fourth generation on Maple Lawn Farm said, “We have been working diligently on improving our environmental footprint for the past 15 years or so. This program is helping us put the finishing touches on some water concern improvements that we have wanted to implement. We are going to improve some things to keep more rain and surface water from coming in contact with feed storage surfaces and we are installing grass filter areas to hand storm water that previously ran into the feed bunkers. These two practices will significantly reduce the amount of mud we track into the road from field application.”
   For more information about how to participate within programs such as this contact your local County Soil and Water Conservation District or in Wayne County call 315.946.4136 and enroll in our community outreach eList.


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