For Immediate Release
Van Buren Conservation District
Contact: AJ Brucks
1035 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
P: 269.657-4030 x5
The Van Buren Conservation District is partnering with The Coca Cola Company, World Wildlife Fund, Field to Market: The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and The Nature Conservancy to promote best farming management practices in the Paw Paw Watershed. The collective group will use the Fieldprint Calculator, a tool developed by Field to Market, to analyze and assess how the management decisions of farmers in the region and their affect on land use, energy use, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and soil loss.
The Fieldprint Calculator helps explore differing scenarios and combinations of on-farm management decisions, which may help improve natural resource management and, ultimately, an operation’s efficiency and financial return. The Van Buren Conservation District will use the tool to establish an anonymous data set of farming practices with carbon and water “fieldprints” of corn and soybean production in the Paw Paw Watershed.
To jumpstart the project, The Van Buren Conservation District is inviting landowners and agricultural producers to its first Spring Farm Tour of the year on Wednesday, March 30 at the Paw Paw Lions Club 59050 CR 665, Paw Paw, Mich. The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a workshop introducing the Fieldprint Calculator and continue with a bus tour of local Paw Paw Watershed farms showcasing effective cover crops, filter strips and
no-till practices that help to “stop the slop.”
Approximately 96,400 acres of farmland are present in the Paw Paw Watershed in Van Buren County. Approximately 22,130 of those acres are corn for grain, with an estimated 92 individual farms. Sediment and nutrients are pollutants of major concern for this area and can be greatly reduced with the adoption of agricultural best management practices such as cover crops, filter strips and conservation tillage. The Van Buren Conservation District works with landowners to initiate these best management practices and discusses
available cost share opportunities through USDA Farm Bill programs.
Ernesto Brovelli, agronomist with The Coca-Cola Company, enthuses that “this project embodies our aspiration to contribute to sustainable farming working alongside growers, NGOs, industry alliances and local partners. It is the type of integration that is critical to developing, testing and implementing true better practices.”
For more information or to sign up for this event, please call (269) 657-4030, ext. 5. Registration is free, but space is limited.