Services We Offer
We offer the following services.
Certified Nutrient Management Plans
Soil and Manure Testing Boxes, Forms, and Information
Unleaded Loon Presentations
Lead Fishing Tackle Exchange
Workshops & Information
Certified Nutrient Management Plans (NMP)
If you would like to have a NMP or plan update written for your farm, contact the District. We write and update these plans for producers from Somerset County and surrounding areas. NMPs written by the District satisfy the requirements for the State Nutrient Management Law and protect producers under Maine’s Right to Farm Law.
A NMP helps landowners to:
Supply essential nutrients needed for optimum crop growth
Provide efficient and effective use of scarce nutrient resources
Maintain/improve the physical chemical and biological condition of the soil
Minimize/prevent nutrient and runoff based environmental degradation
A soil test is the best place to start when you are trying to manage your home garden, pasture, crop or hayfields. It will give you critical information and help you fertilize your land for optimal production.
The District has all the materials you’ll need to get you started with soil and manure sampling for your farm, green house, high tunnel, or home garden. We can also help with interpretation of test results.
For more information on the soil testing process and analysis at the University of Maine Analytical Laboratory and Maine Soil Testing Service.
Manure testing – The form that needs to accompany a manure sample being sent to the University of Maine Lab is here.
Unleaded Loon program
As part of our Unleaded Loons program, we offer presentations for sports groups, lake associations and schools to show how lead fishing tackle affects Maine’s water birds and predatory birds. The program focuses on the use of safer fishing protocol and what citizens can do to help.
The presentation shows how lead fishing tackle affects Maine’s water birds and predatory birds, with a focus particularly on the common loon (as lead tackle ingestion is the leading cause of death for adult loons). A wide variety of safe alternatives are discussed.
The presentation can be tailored to fit individual time requirements. Basic topics covered include:
Toxicity of lead – hazards to humans, wildlife, and our environment
How and why wildlife species are affected by ingesting lead fishing tackle, particularly the common loon
Loon physiology and behavior that makes them susceptible to lead poisoning (includes radiographs and photos of lead poisoned loons, real local cases from Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
Secondary poisoning of predatory/scavenging birds (again includes radiographs and photos of local cases)
Available non-toxic alternatives to lead tackle and what citizens can do to help
LEAD FISHING TACKLE EXCHANGE
As part of the Unleaded Loons educational program, Somerset County SWCD obtained funding from the Davis Conservation Foundation and Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund to host a tackle exchange program. We have since invited eight other districts to partner with us as part of the tackle exchange program. Now anglers that fish in Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, or York county can swap their lead tackle for non-toxic tackle for free! The program will continue while supplies last. The tackle exchange is available during regular office hours and we also hold free tackle exchange events at a variety of locations during the fishing season.
The program isn’t necessarily a one-for-one exchange, but there will be a great variety of non-toxic tackle to try, and no one will go home empty-handed! What better time than right now to clean out your tackle box, making fishing safer for you, your children, and Maine’s wildlife? Contact your District office to learn more about the program.
For more information on lead poisoning in wildlife visit the Loons and Lead page of our site.