Crawford Soil & Water Conservation District
3111 State Route 98, Bucyrus, OH 44820 (419)-562-8280


    Our mission is to encourage and assist the people of Crawford County in making decisions for the wise use of our natural resources to provide a quality environment for all.

Conservation Districts are locally organized self-governing bodies chartered by the State. Through voluntary action and cooperation of landowners (and other stake holders), the District works to conserve land, water, forest, wildlife and other related resources for the benefit of all.

Business and Comedy Juggler & Ventriloquist Combined for Annual Meeting            

 All are welcome to join the Crawford Soil and Water Conservation District and the Crawford County Farm Bureau for their combined annual meeting which will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. It will be held at Pickwick Place, 1875 N Sandusky Avenue, Bucyrus, Ohio. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Dinner tickets cost $12.50. They must be reserved by September 6th.

 The Crawford SWCD supervisor election will be begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 6:45 p.m. All Crawford County residents who are a minimum of 18-years of age are eligible to vote in the SWCD election. Residents can register at the door in order to receive a ballot. Any eligible voter may vote in the Crawford SWCD supervisor election and leave without purchasing a ticket.

 This year, the Farm Bureau business meeting will be held from 5:45 – 6:20 pm and will include minutes, policies, code by –laws, & trustee elections. All Crawford County Farm Bureau members are encouraged to attend.

The charbroiled pork dinner will be from 6:30 -7:30 p.m. It will be dinner catered by Port-a-Cook. A combined SWCD conservation slide show and Farm Bureau slide show will run during the dinner hour.

The events following dinner include the SWCD outstanding cooperator award sponsored by Ag Credit and affiliate members’ recognition, the Farm Bureau distinguished service award, and the Crawford SWCD and Farm Bureau election results.

This year’s featured entertainment is Mike Hemmelgarn. Mr. Hemmelgarn’s shows are high energy and constantly evolving and changing. As one spectator exclaimed, “you never know what’s going to happen next!” Among the characters you are likely to meet are Butterball, the paranoid turkey; Casey the ballistic duck; a 92 year-old mid-western farmer named Herman; Rosie the eccentric grandmother; or Spud, a quick witted and wildly entertaining ventriloquist puppet. Spud loves to involve the audience and often turns several volunteers into real live puppets. Mike also adds juggling, a touch of magic, music, and audience participation offer lots of fun for everyone.

Plan now to attend; contact the Crawford Soil and Water Conservation District office at 3111 State Route 98, Bucyrus, Ohio at 419-562-8280 extension 3; the Crawford County Farm Bureau office at 1-800-327-6055; or get your tickets from one of the ticket sellers in your neighborhood.

The Cover Crop Learning Curve

    With the planting season behind us, we can now look back and analyze what worked in our cover crop fields and what did not.  If you are new to cover corps, you may be wondering “what did I do”?  But that is ok, consider it part of the cover crop learning curve.  Take notes and determined what changes you would make for next year.   The successful cover crop farms did not accomplish success in one season, stick with it and make the adjustments that you are comfortable with and that will make cover crops easier next season, and the season after that. 

If you struggled planting into 5-6 ft. tall cereal rye, consider spraying earlier next season.  If wrapping and twisting was an issue, consider planter or drill adjustments that would work to correct that.   Planting cover crops at an angle in the field may be helpful in eliminating crop seed placed right on the cover crop row.  Trying a different cover crop specie or changing up your cover crop mix may help alleviate problem areas.

Take advantage of the numerous cover crop incentive programs that are out there.  These programs can help to offset some of the cost as you work through the cover crop the learning curve.  The Crawford SWCD/NRCS office has different incentive programs that may be a good fit for your operation.  To find out which program is best for you, contact the SWCD/NRCS office at 419-562-8280 ext. #3 for more information. 

Here is the link to an article about cover crop roots in tile


Begin Planning for Fall Cover Crops Now

With planting season behind us, it’s time to start thinking of your fall cover crops options.  Over much of NW Ohio, cover crops have become a popular practice and consequently seed sources can become scarce.  Planning your cover crops now for the upcoming fall planting season will ensure maximum potential for your cover crop success. 

Our first opportunity usually comes after wheat harvest.  This time of year radish and oats are a popular choice.  These are great cover crops, but should be mixed together with an overwintering cereal grain or legume to maximize benefits.  Seeding of oats or radish mixes should be done by the beginning of September for maximum benefit.  Seeding can be done with a drill or broadcast with shallow incorporation. Oats and radishes are great nutrient scavengers and are often planted after manure application to tie up nutrients that may otherwise be lost. Cereal grains and legumes will overwinter, reducing erosion and soil losses from crop fields. 

Our next opportunity for cover crops is for aerial application into standing crops.  A popular choice for aerial applications is cereal rye.  Throw in some clover or other small seeded legume for a good mixed cover crop stand.  Aerial application options include high clearance air seeders and airplanes, both are a great way to get your cover crops seeded allowing for optimal growth and maximum benefits.  Depending upon the growth stage of the crop in the field, most aerial applications should be completed in August and early September.

The final opportunity for cover crops is after harvest.  The time of harvest becomes a critical point when determining these later planted fall cover crops.  Most common this time of year is cereal rye, which can be planted up to the first week of November. Cereal rye is a good choice for fields going to soybeans and can be planted with a drill or broadcast with a spinner spreader or air machine.  If you are looking for a mix this time of year, consider adding some kale or rapeseed in with the cereal rye.  Drilling gets the best results this time of year, but broadcast and light incorporation are also sufficient. 

As with most farming practices, to be successful we must adapt certain aspects of our management to accommodate new ideas and concepts.  With proper planning and forethought, cover crops can be a success both to your operation and to the environment and water quality.   If you would like to discuss cover crop options for your farm or if you would like to inquire about the various incentive programs available for cover crops, contact the Crawford SWCD/NRCS office at 419-562-8280 ext. #3 

Click here for the Lake Erie Nutrient Reduction Project Brochure

Click here for the Lake Erie Nutrient Reduction Project Grant Application