In addition to the VACS programs, Evergreen SWCD is able to offer its own programs. One of our Board’s top priorities is improving the soil of our county’s farmland to produce better forage for livestock. Higher quality and quantity of forage greatly improves livestock gains and farmer’s profits. The following programs are available to all Smyth County producers.
No-Till Drill Seeder
Evergreen owns three Great Plains No-Till drills that are available to the public year round. The rental cost is $10.00 per acre with an additional fee of $25.00 if the seeder has to be cleaned out after use. They are available on a first come-first serve basis so it is strongly encouraged to call the office before your planned planting period. During the spring and fall planting seasons the drills are usually in high demand so the waiting period could be a couple of weeks during the peak season.
An up to date Tax Exempt form and a signed Rental Agreements form are necessary to rent the seeder. The seeder can be set for you if you know the amount of seed per acre that you plan to drill. Since seed quality is greatly varied, our staff does not suggest the seeding rate. Instead, we suggest you find out the seeding rate from where you purchase the seed.
The renter is responsible for picking up and dropping off the seeder as well as any damage to the drills outside of the normal wear-and tear. Drills are NOT allowed to be hauled on the interstate.
Due to lack of funding Evergreen has suspended the lime program until further notice
Once a year, the district offers a cost-share Lime Program for pasture and hay land located in Smyth County. To be eligible to apply, the applicant must have farmland located in Smyth County and have recent soil samples taken within 6 months of the opening date of the program. The samples must be sent to the Virginia Tech Soil Lab. The required soil sample boxes and forms are available at the District office. The District also has a soil probe available for clients’ use.
Since the funds are limited each year for the program, we rank out each applicant and fund the applicant with the worst soil first and move down the list until we run out of funds. In the past two years, we offered a 75% cost-share with a $3,000.00 cap. Payment covers the purchase as well as hauling and spreading of the lime. Applicants have one calendar year period to spread the lime and turn in receipts for payment. The application period to apply is usually open for only one month due to high interest in the program.
Evergreen keeps a supply of soil sample boxes year round along with the necessary paperwork that needs to be sent into the Virginia Tech Soil Lab. We also have a steel soil probe you may borrow to simplify the sampling process. If the sample is for commercial agriculture, there is no fee for the routine nutrient testing (soil pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe, B, and estimated CEC), only shipping costs. If it is for residential lawn or garden basic nutrient sampling fee is $10.00 and organic matter is an additional $4.00