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67 Merchants Row
Rutland, VT, 05701
United States

(802) 417-1528

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

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Management of Alluvial Soils Workshop - April 17 (Rutland)

Kristin Smith

Farmers, landowners, NRCS professionals, and other conservationists - Meet up on April 17th for a workshop in Rutland on Management of Alluvial Soils.  The workshop's goals are to increase awareness of serious erosion / inundation issues with alluvial soils, explore options to lessen sediment loads and protect floodplain soils with a variety of practices, discuss tolerable soil loss in terms of water quality concerns The workshop is geared towards farmers and those who work with farmers. Below is the complete agenda for the day:

Management of Alluvial Soils – can we find a dynamic equilibrium?

April 17th, 2012 (Tuesday) – Rutland – US Forest Service Building – Morning Presentations & Afternoon Farm Visit -- 9am to 3pm

Overall goals: To increase awareness of serious erosion / inundation issues with alluvial soils, explore options to lessen sediment loads and protect floodplain soils with a variety of practices, discuss tolerable soil loss in terms of water quality concerns

8:45-9:00am  Coffee / tea – please bring monetary donations –

9:00-9:10am  Introduction –  Staci Pomeroy & Caroline Alves  – Purpose of holding this meeting

9:10 – 9:45am  River Processes  -- Staci Pomeroy (VT DEC – River Management Program):

  • Demo of flume
    • Channel migration, Flooding of low-lying areas, Avulsions / Flood Chutes
    • Sediment storage on functioning floodplains
    • Tools & approaches  for improved management

9:45-10:15am Alluvial Soils  -- Caroline Alves (USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service)

  • Dynamic river processes cause extreme variability in texture & other characteristics
    • Mapped soil series often do not reflect the reality on the ground
    • Erosion on stream banks vs. floodplain fields
      • Soil test levels of Phosphorus along selected river corridors
      • Determining which portion is “bio-available P”  - associated with algae blooms
      • Assessing risks for inundation and erosion  using soils data and other GIS layers

10:15-10:30am Break

10:30-11:00am  Case Studies & Management Implications -- Ben Gabos (VT Agency of Agriculture)

  • Looking into the history of re-occurring erosion problems
  • Successful examples of practices on alluvial soils that help to lower sediment load
    • Grassed waterways, buffers, cover crops, reduced tillage, conversion to hay crop, wetland restoration (WRP/CREP), etc.
    • Encouraging deposition – avoiding erosion on floodplain farm fields
    • A patchwork of programs – covering all the problems

11:00-12:00 Tools in the Toolbox & Room for Improvement --– current strategies to prevent soil loss on alluvial soils & lack of policies that address erosion problems specific to floodplain soils

 -- Panel Discussion:  Kristen Underwood  consultant - South Mountain  (panel leader),   Kim Peck (or others)- Farm Service Agency,   Steven Libby – Vermont Rivers Conservancy,   Staci Pomeroy ,   Ben Gabos,   Michelle Smith  - VACD,    other panelists have yet to be confirmed

  • Policy issues – integrating efforts between agencies
    • Do re-occurring erosion problems continue to get re-occurring payments from FSA?
    • Dovetailing State, Federal  and other programs
    • Guiding landowners through multiple options for conservation easements
    • Situations where it is not economic to plant to corn
      • CREP gives guaranteed payments vs. uncertain yields on continually flooding soils
      • How to better promote Easements
      • Are new measures of erosion / inundation susceptibility & new policies needed -  for conservation planning?
        • Managing farm fields for water quality concerns
        • Characterizing sediment P mobilization and export susceptibility – a targeted approach

12:00-12:30 Lunch – BRING YOUR OWN

12:30-12:45 travel to Field Site -  ­ Patrick Medeo  Farm  in Shrewsbury on the Cold River

12:45-2:45 Outdoor session  - building on the morning’s discussions/presentations – see BMPs in the field

2:45-3:00 – Final wrap-up, discussion, questions  - if time is remaining

Please note:

  • this workshop is rain or shine – bring raincoats & boots
  • bring your own lunch
  • please carpool
  • registration is free -- sign up early !!!!!! – SPACE IS LIMITED
  • contact Nanci McGuire  at the Rutland Conservation District office by phone or email to sign up 802- 775-8034 ext. 17 nanci.mcguire@vt.nacdnet.net