The riparian buffers on our farm on Middle River are now fifteen years old. Fifteen years ago, the "River Farm" was basically a cool-season grass pasture with a few scattered mature trees along the banks of the river. Now, in addition to excellent forage for cattle, there are hundreds of...
The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, is a destructive, non-native insect that kills all species of ash trees. First discovered in Michigan in 2002 it has spread to thirty-three states and is confirmed in all six of the Chesapeake Bay watershed states. They have arrived in Augusta County, Virginia in full...
I watched it devour a whole nest of tent caterpillars. Yellow-billed Cuckoos, we need a lot more of them - they prefer to eat hairy caterpillars like the eastern tent caterpillar that defoliate trees. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, sometimes called the rain crow, nests and forages in the riparian forests along our...
There are many harbingers of Spring in Swoope; the yellow blooms of daffodils and forsythia, the sounds of spring peepers, and pastures changing from brown to green are only a few. My favorite harbinger of Spring is the arrival of Tree Swallows, Tachycineta bicolor. I start looking for them in late February....
As summer moves closer to autumn it seems there are more native plants in the various riparian buffers we have around the farm. Butterfly weed, jewelweed, wingstem, purpletop, and many other plants are in bloom now. However; there are many invasive, non-native plants in bloom as well. Invasive Species Control...
America's Most Successful and Largest Conservation Program on HOLD. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) - America’s most successful and largest conservation program on private, “working” lands is on hold, except for CREP (but not in Virginia, I'll explain later). Earlier this month USDA instructed its county offices to process only...
The downstream and upstream pictures in this post were published by the Bay Journal in William Funk's article "Virginia Faulted for Handling of Cattle Pollution in Shenandoah". Cattle Destroy Streams and the Aquatic Ecosystem. Livestock that have access to streams and rivers pollute the water with their manure and urine....
This blog post was modified to become an oped piece for the Bay Journal News Service. They distributed it on March 7, 2017. USA Today published it on March 17th as "Want a cleaner river? Keep cow pies out, plant trees". E. Coli Cut By One Third One of the most...
In his e-book, Bobby shares his invaluable knowledge and findings drawn from years of field experience. His tips for how to improve water quality and protect livestock are a true win/win. Please read it. And please share it.
Will BakerPresident Chesapeake Bay Foundation
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