Telephone: (603) 353-4652

Grafton County Conservation District

The Grafton County Conservation District assists interested land users with technical, educational and financial conservation services to protect, improve and sustain our natural resources.
 

Soil Health Equipment Rental

Healthy, productive soil is a balance of physical, biological and chemical properties.  When soil is compacted by equipment and animals, plant root growth is impaired by lack of air, water and nutrients.  Reducing soil compaction allows air, water and nutrients to reach plant roots, improving plant vigor, and increasing biological and chemical activity in the soil.

Grafton County Conservation District (GCCD) recently received a Conservation Moose Plate grant to purchase an AerWay aerator to help smaller farmers improve soil health.  The District has chosen a model that is 8 feet in width so that it is towable on public roads with a pickup truck at reduced speeds. The 8 foot width covers a tractor’s wheel width, reducing the number of trips needed to cover an area.  Also, the 8 foot width adapts to more types of uneven terrain found in Grafton County.  An aerator provides many benefits to soil health and can be used throughout the growing season.

GCCD has entered an agreement with the Granite State Graziers to rent an Eco-Drill to NH farmers.  The Eco-Drill brings the benefits of  no-till seeding to smaller fields and pastures.  Coulters slice the soil, openers form a seed trench, seed is placed directly into the soil, then rolled with a cultipacker.  A no-till system reduces erosion and improves moisture conservation.  It can also reduce fuel and labor costs while building healthy soil structure.

The Grafton County Local Working Group has continually identified soil health and soil compaction, nutrient management, and erosion control and sediment reduction as local natural resource concerns in Grafton County.   We are excited to work with partners towards this goal.

Equipment Rental Agreement

Survey Help Needed from NH Specialty Crop Growers!  BASES Tool and Equipment Survey

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and its ATTRA Sustainable Ag Program is working with a NH Specialty Crop Block Grant on the BASES Program: Building Appropriately Scaled Equipment Skills. The goal of this three year program is to help bring knowledge and access about a wider variety of specialized tools and equipment to NH specialty crop farmers. In other words, we’re trying to help farmers get the right tools for farming in NH and at the right scale.  This survey is to better understand how specialty crop producers in NH access and use farm tools and equipment. We also aim to understand the impacts of tools and equipment on farm decision making and farm finances.  Farmer data will be used us help identify needs among specialty crop producers in NH and direct our work going forward and that the information they provide will be kept completely anonymous. This survey should take about 5-10 minutes to complete.  Please visit  https://forms.office.com/r/qCfJz3i0By  to complete the survey.

As a reminder, “specialty crop” growers are farmers who produce: fruit and tree nuts, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, as well as nursery, floriculture, and horticulture crops.  Three respondents who supply contact information will be selected at random on April 30 and will receive a $75 gift certificate to Chappell Tractor in NH.

NCAT is also working with the foundling NH Agriculture Viability Alliance, a cooperation of technical assistance provers, to provide all kinds of management assistance to farmers in the Northern Border Region (i.e. farmers in western and northern NH). The Agricultural Viability Alliance offers teams of specialists, catered to farm and food businesses individual needs in Belknap, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, and Sullivan counties.  An interdisciplinary team can assist with business planning, whole farm planning, goal setting, strategic decision making and more.

Those interested can learn more at the Vital Communities website: https:// vitalcommunities.org/valleyfoodfarm/farm-viability-a-priority-for-nh-nonprofits.