Vermonters take farming to the air

Vermonters take farming to the air


WE’RE BACK WITH ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS… AFTER AN UNUSUALLY LATE SPRING THIS YEAR..MANY FARMERS HAVE BEEN SET BACK.LAUREN ONE FARM IN MILTON HAS CALLED IN A HELICOPTER TO HELP PLANT ITS COVER CROP. LOCAL 22’S COURTNEY KRAMER JOINS US IN STUDIO WITH MORE. COURTNEY LAUREN, GLENN— THIS UNIQUE WAY OF SPREADING SEED WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY STATE FUNDING. FARMERS TELL ME IT’S IMPORTANT IN PREVENTING EROSION AND RUNOFF WHICH CAN IMPACT THE WATER QUALITY OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN. 3 “In a year like this, we have to do something, we have to think outside the box” DONNIE RICHARDS OWNS MEADOWBROOKS ACRE DAIRY FARM IN MILTON… HE KNEW HE HAD TO SWITCH UP HIS FARMING STRATEGY WHEN WINTER LINGERED LONGER THAN USUAL. “It was such a late spring to plant our corn, usually we cut our corn by now but we can’t for another 3 weeks because the maturity isn’t there” THIS TIME OF YEAR…FARMERS USUALLY PLANT THEIR COVER CROP…WHICH IS PLANTED TO MANAGE SOIL EROSION. WEDNESDAY…A HELICOPTER FLEW IN FROM VIRGINIA TO ASSIST WITH THE PROCESS. “The major advantage of doing this with a helicopter is having the grass growing before the crop is cut” THE CHOPPER SPREAD MORE THAN 10 THOUSAND POUNDS OF SEED…. MAKING SEVERAL TRIPS TO REFILL THE BUCKET…EACH TRIP CARRYING A 700 POUND LOAD. WHEN THE WORK WAS DONE, 175 ACRES OF CORN WERE COVERED WITH THE SEED. “With my GPS I create a grid over the field and I fly it, while I’m over the grid, I have the bucket dispensing seed. I control when it opens and shuts” NOW WHEN RICHARDS CUTS THE CORN, THE ROOTED COVER CROP WILL BE THERE TO KEEP SOIL IN PLACE. FARMERS SAY THIS CONSERVATION PRACTICE WILL HELP STOP RUNOFF AND PROTECT THE WATER QUALITY OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN.”The phosphorous from the cow manure that we spread, the fertilizer we put on, the pesticides we use to grow our crop, we need it to stay there.” 3 COURTNEY RICHARDS SAYS HE’LL HAVE TO SEE HOW THIS WINTER GOES TO DETERMINE IF HE’LL USE THE CHOPPER AGAIN NEXT YEAR. LIVE IN THE STUDIO,,,COURTNEY KRAMER…LOCAL 22 NEWS. 3

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