Union County Soil and Water Conservation District

Union County Soil and Water Conservation District Our mission is to promote the protection of our natural resources through educational programs, technical assistance, and financial assistance.

03/23/2020

At this time, the Union County SWCD and Creston NRCS office are open for business by phone only. 641-782-4218. Everyone stay safe!

It may be cold and possibly snowy outside, but join @MadisonCountySWCD   and spend some time thinking about green, produ...
01/10/2020

It may be cold and possibly snowy outside, but join @MadisonCountySWCD and spend some time thinking about green, productive pastures and get ready for spring!

FarmersGov
11/05/2019

FarmersGov

Many farmers till during the fall, but there are so many good reasons not to. This fall, help us celebrate #NoTillNovember.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/2Ne4ZNm

Happy No-Till November!!
11/01/2019

Happy No-Till November!!

No-Till November starts tomorrow!  Here are some no-till points to keep in mind from Jason Johnson, USDA-NRCS Public Aff...
10/31/2019

No-Till November starts tomorrow! Here are some no-till points to keep in mind from Jason Johnson, USDA-NRCS Public Affairs Specialist.
The link for the quiz didn't copy correctly. Here is the link so you can see if you are a true no-tiller: http://bit.ly/VertTillNotNoTill

We recently visited the afternoon class at Trinity Lutheran Preschool.  While there, we talked about the importance of f...
10/23/2019

We recently visited the afternoon class at Trinity Lutheran Preschool. While there, we talked about the importance of feeding our bird friends during the winter as they don't all migrate. We also found out most of the kiddos had a bee or butterfly story and we learned how important it is for them to have blooming plants all summer. Then we finished by making and "planting" pollinator seed bombs and pinecone bird feeders.

These are some of the hardy people who braved the cold last Wednesday to attend our cover crop field day. Julie McMichae...
10/22/2019

These are some of the hardy people who braved the cold last Wednesday to attend our cover crop field day. Julie McMichael, NRCS Soil scientist, is pictured discussing soil health, and Aaron Saeguling, Extension Agronomist, discussed the basics of cover crops.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach- Union County
09/27/2019

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach- Union County

Don't forget about our upcoming Cover Crop Field day happening this Wednesday at 10:00 AM. It will be a great learning experience! Call the Union County Extension Office at 641-782-8426 or Dixie at 641-782-4218 with questions!

Madison County is having a soil health workshop Sept. 24!  Doug Peterson, NRCS Soil Health Specialist, and a local produ...
09/12/2019

Madison County is having a soil health workshop Sept. 24! Doug Peterson, NRCS Soil Health Specialist, and a local producer panel with share their experiences with soil health and knowledge on how to improve it. RSVP by Sept. 17 to 515-462-2961 x3. Great opportunity!

Our Soil Health Workshop is just two weeks away! We can't wait to have Doug Peterson and our local producer panel share their knowledge and experiences with soil health and the practices that improve it!

There will be a free lunch, so we're requesting RSVPs by next Tuesday, September 17th. Call 515-462-2961 x3 to let us know you're coming!

Beautiful day for a field day today. Thanks to Roger & Jean Ide for hosting us, Kelsey Fleming for sharing her knowledge...
08/27/2019

Beautiful day for a field day today. Thanks to Roger & Jean Ide for hosting us, Kelsey Fleming for sharing her knowledge of monarch and pollinator habitat, Union County Extension and Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium for all of their assistance.

Exciting happenings today!  Roger Riley and WHO 13 News attended our pollinator field day today. They had a good intervi...
08/27/2019
Iowans Creating Habitats to Reverse the Decline of Monarch Butterflies

Exciting happenings today! Roger Riley and WHO 13 News attended our pollinator field day today. They had a good interview with Kelsey Fleming and landowners Roger and Jean Ide.

CRESTON, Iowa -- For years monarch butterflies have seen a population decline in Iowa due to inadequate habitats. Now, several groups are working to change that. After years of being used for corn and beans, an 80-acre field southeast of Creston was converted to a habitat for wildlife back in 2016.

Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium
08/21/2019

Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium

Landowners and families who want to learn more about planting monarch and pollinator #habitat should attend this field day on August 26 near Creston, Iowa.

The event is being hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Pheasants Forever, U.S. Department of Agriculture-NRCS and the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Learn more about this field day today! https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/monarch-and-pollinator-habitat-highlights-field-day

Come join us Monday, Aug. 26 at 12:00 at the O'Riley Center in Creston!  Have lunch and learn about pollinator habitat. ...
08/14/2019

Come join us Monday, Aug. 26 at 12:00 at the O'Riley Center in Creston! Have lunch and learn about pollinator habitat. After lunch, we'll tour a 3 year pollinator seeding. Call Dixie at 641-782-4218 to RSVP. See you there!

Landowners and families who want to learn more about planting monarch and pollinator #habitat should attend this field day on August 26 near Creston, Iowa.

The event is being hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Pheasants Forever, U.S. Department of Agriculture-NRCS and the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Learn more about this field day today! https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/monarch-and-pollinator-habitat-highlights-field-day

The big reveal!  We've started digging up our undies.  The pair on the left were in a field with spring tillage and corn...
08/14/2019

The big reveal! We've started digging up our undies. The pair on the left were in a field with spring tillage and corn/bean rotation. The pair on the right are from a no-till corn/bean rotation with cover crops and cattle winter grazing. The soil with more live roots and diversity and less soil disturbance has a bigger microbe population to eat up the carbon from the cotton undies. Stay tuned for more results in the coming weeks!

Come visit the Union County Fair! While you're there, stop by our booth in the food stand, get the low down on no-till, ...
07/21/2019

Come visit the Union County Fair! While you're there, stop by our booth in the food stand, get the low down on no-till, and sign up to win an insulated travel mug.

Pollinators doing their thing this morning
07/05/2019

Pollinators doing their thing this morning

Is there a link between flooding and farming methods? The difference in fields using tillage and long time no-till were ...
06/27/2019
The Connection Between Flooding and Farming Methods

Is there a link between flooding and farming methods? The difference in fields using tillage and long time no-till were pretty apparent after our last storm.

“We have to work with nature, we can't fight it,” Doug Hisken, a Belle Plaine, KS, area farmer said about this year’s overly wet weather leading to flooding problems across much of the state.

Some good news....
06/21/2019

Some good news....

Farmers who planted cover crops on prevented plant acres will be permitted to hay, graze or chop those fields earlier than November this year. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) adjusted the 2019 final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1 to help farmers who were prevented from planting because of flooding and excess rainfall this spring.

More details http://ow.ly/v52550uJ7DS

We're at it again! The new and improved underwear burying venture is taking place around the county this summer. We are ...
06/21/2019

We're at it again! The new and improved underwear burying venture is taking place around the county this summer. We are tweaking some things from last time-they'll be buried longer this time and we have many different scenarios that we're comparing. Check back in a couple months for results!

06/19/2019
RSWD Gabe Brown 2018

Here's some rainy day viewing. This is a presentation Gabe Brown shared with the 2018 Soil Health Summit in Bismarck, North Dakota. Mr. Brown has used regenerative farming on his farm for the last 20 years and shares his experiences.

05/16/2019

Have you been wanting to try no-till but not sure about taking the jump? To help offset some start up costs, the district has cost share of $10/acre up to 160 acres available for first time users through Water Quality Initiative funding. Cost share for cover crops is also available--$25/acre for first time users and $15/acre for previous users up to 160 acres. Stop in and check it out!

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
05/02/2019

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Across the state, Iowas are celebrating Soil and Water Week! Thank you to everyone who has shared their photos of the celebration. Our state is hard at work improving and conserving the soil and water!

#LifeintheSoil2019 Soil & Water Conservation Week
05/01/2019

#LifeintheSoil
2019 Soil & Water Conservation Week

Step by step advice for planting corn after cereal rye cover crop from Practical Farmers of Iowa ...
04/29/2019
Terminating Cereal Rye Cover Crop Before Corn - Practical Farmers of Iowa

Step by step advice for planting corn after cereal rye cover crop from Practical Farmers of Iowa ...

It’s time to plant corn, but the first step is to handle the over-wintered cereal rye cover crop, which is greening and growing during corn planting season. Because of potential competition between rye and corn – and concerns ...

Union County Soil and Water Conservation District's cover photo
04/29/2019

Union County Soil and Water Conservation District's cover photo

Celebrate Soil & Water Conservation Week with us by taking a photo of someone holding healthy soil with a plant in it. S...
04/29/2019

Celebrate Soil & Water Conservation Week with us by taking a photo of someone holding healthy soil with a plant in it. Share your photos in the comments section. #LifeintheSoil

We got to spend the morning with Julie McMichael, NRCS Area Soil Scientist, Murray FFA students, and other county field ...
04/24/2019

We got to spend the morning with Julie McMichael, NRCS Area Soil Scientist, Murray FFA students, and other county field office staff learning to use all the tools in the Soil Health Buckets. The Murray FFA chapter assembles the soil health buckets and wanted to see them in action. If you would like to use them in your fields, call the office. We'd be happy to demonstrate them.
In this photo, Julie is shown demonstrating the slake test to students.

Union County Soil and Water Conservation District's cover photo
04/23/2019

Union County Soil and Water Conservation District's cover photo

Happy Earth Day!! Thankful for all of the farmers who do their best to keep the soil healthy and in place!
04/23/2019

Happy Earth Day!! Thankful for all of the farmers who do their best to keep the soil healthy and in place!

It's a sobering thought...

Would you like a weather-proof cropping system?  Dr. Jerry Hatfield in Ames shared research in a recent Iowa Learning Fa...
04/18/2019
Why Improving the Soil Will Pay Dividends

Would you like a weather-proof cropping system? Dr. Jerry Hatfield in Ames shared research in a recent Iowa Learning Farms webinar that suggests improving soil quality also improves crop yields and increases crop resilience. Learn more in the post below. The webinar link is included in the article.

What does it take to weather-proof a cropping system? Yesterday, during an Iowa Learning Farms webinar, Dr. Jerry L. Hatfield suggested that the answer to that question lies in our soil. He shared …

Reminder:  We have everything you need for your soil testing this spring--soil sampler, penetrometer, Solvita and nitrat...
04/09/2019

Reminder: We have everything you need for your soil testing this spring--soil sampler, penetrometer, Solvita and nitrate test kits, thermometer. Stop in and check it out!

03/29/2019
» Level B

Our Farm Bill Biologist, Kelsey Fleming, was on the Level B program on KSIB Radio 101.3 FM this morning talking about CRP and the upcoming Mid Contract management meeting. If you missed it, here is the link. http://www.ksibradio.com/level-b/
Kelsey is the third segment on March 29.

We're not fooling!  CRP Mid-Contract Management meeting on April 1 in Creston.  Bring your maps and questions to find th...
03/29/2019

We're not fooling! CRP Mid-Contract Management meeting on April 1 in Creston. Bring your maps and questions to find the best options for your farm. Hope to see you there!!

Adair County Soil and Water Conservation District
03/21/2019

Adair County Soil and Water Conservation District

Are you interested in learning more about 3-Mile Lake watershed? Do you want to hear about the recent watershed assessment as well as the practices and cost share options that can help improve water quality, soil health and also benefit wildlife?

If so, you should come to this meeting on Thursday, March 28th at 6 PM in Greenfield! Please RSVP to Dixie Baker (641) 782-4218 or Ruth Holan (641) 343-7033. A FREE meal will be provided!

We will be providing a CRP mid-contract management workshop on April 1st in Creston for landowners and producers who wan...
03/20/2019

We will be providing a CRP mid-contract management workshop on April 1st in Creston for landowners and producers who want to learn more about mid-contract management! This workshop is hosted by USDA, Iowa DNR, local Soil & Water Conservation Districts, and Pheasants Forever and is FREE. To RSVP, call Kelsey Fleming at 712-660-0880.

Here are  photos of the district award winners from our annual award meeting in February. Thanks for the mention, Cresto...
03/13/2019

Here are photos of the district award winners from our annual award meeting in February. Thanks for the mention, Creston Chamber! Also, a huge thanks to the wonderful cooks at the Cromwell church for the delicious meal.

Union County Soil & Water Conservation District recently held Annual Awards Luncheon. Congratulations to the following: Wildlife Habitat Conservation Award - Rex Fowler, Friends of Conservation - Mary Ann & Mark O'Riley, Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year Award - Francine & Chad Ide, Cover Crop Award - Jeff & Linda Grandfield (not pictured), Friend of Conservation Award - Mary & Wayne Hill and the Afton Star Enterprise.

We spent some time with our preschool friends at Trinity Lutheran Preschool this morning.  They all enjoyed chocolate mi...
03/07/2019

We spent some time with our preschool friends at Trinity Lutheran Preschool this morning. They all enjoyed chocolate milk provided by the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance to celebrate their conservation coloring contest participation. Lots of smiles!

Practical Farmers of Iowa
02/17/2019

Practical Farmers of Iowa

In next Tuesday's farminar - “Precision-Seeded Cover Crops” - Jon Bakehouse and Michael Vittetoe will share their thoughts on cover crop seeding methods and what they plan to do on their farms moving forward.

Join us Tuesday at 7 p.m. for this FREE farminar.

Click the join in button at the bottom of this page to participate:
https://practicalfarmers.org/events/farminars/#Join

Students at Trinity Lutheran Preschool recently participated in a district coloring contest.  They learned how soil from...
02/05/2019

Students at Trinity Lutheran Preschool recently participated in a district coloring contest. They learned how soil from various places can look different. Check out their great coloring pages!

U.S. Department of Agriculture
01/17/2019

U.S. Department of Agriculture

We're reopening many of our Farm Service Agency offices for three days (1/17, 1/18 & 1/22) to help farmers with existing loans and other limited services. For a list of what will - and will not - be available, and for the location of an FSA office near you, click here: bit.ly/2FDs4Wj

How are your tighty whities looking?  Hopefully as ragged as ours.  No, we don't need new underwear.  This is a demonstr...
01/14/2019

How are your tighty whities looking? Hopefully as ragged as ours. No, we don't need new underwear. This is a demonstration of soil microbial activity.

There are all kinds of microscopic critters who live in the soil and help create structure and stability (both things that help with water drainage and availability, and holding soil in place). These critters love to eat carbon which is also found in cotton underwear. So the idea is that if the underwear is buried for a while (like 4 weeks), the microbes will start breaking it down. The more microbes that are in the soil profile, the worse the tighty whities look.

So where do soil microbes like to live? They like soils with moderate temperatures (no bare soil) that are undisturbed with lots of organic matter and living roots to eat. Our samples were buried in a field with corn-bean rotation that is tilled every spring, a field with corn-bean rotation that is no-tilled, and a field with corn-bean-4 years of meadow rotation. You can definitely tell where the microbes like to hang out...there wasn't much left of the corn-bean-meadow shorts. This is one case where you DO want to lose your shorts since it means healthier, more resilient soils!

Attention High School Seniors....the Union SWCD in conjunction with the Conservation Districts of Iowa sponsors a schola...
01/07/2019

Attention High School Seniors....the Union SWCD in conjunction with the Conservation Districts of Iowa sponsors a scholarship for graduating seniors pursuing a degree in agriculture or conservation. Applications are due Feb. 15 at the SWCD office (904 E. Taylor, Creston ) Go to website http://cdiowa.org/get-involved/scholarships for more information and to get an application. If you have any questions, call the office at 641-782-4218.

Ever wonder why some fields just don't drain as quickly as others?  Tillage may be part of the answer.  This demonstrati...
01/04/2019

Ever wonder why some fields just don't drain as quickly as others? Tillage may be part of the answer. This demonstration simulates rainfall infiltration--approximately 1 inch of rain. The jar on the left contains soil that has been no-tilled for years. The one on the right has soil that is disked every spring before planting. The no-till soil absorbed all the water and this would be stored deeper in the soil profile in the field. The tilled soil allowed approximately one quarter of the rain to infiltrate while the rest is trapped on top of the soil-- or runoff in the field.

Address

904 E. Taylor St.
Creston, IA
50801

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:00 - 16:30
Thursday 08:00 - 16:30
Friday 08:00 - 16:30

Telephone

(641) 782-4218

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Union SWCD

The Union SWCD was organized in May 1943. The district has 5 elected commissioners who work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Agriculture to promote and demonstrate conservation practices, administer state and federal cost share, and investigate soil loss complaints. They also educate others about natural resources conservation. The office is located at 904 E. Taylor in Creston.

Nearby government services