The Flint River SWCD initiated an urban program in the summer of 2016 with funding from NACD’s Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative. The initiative, in partnership with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, aims to increase and stabilize technical assistance capacity where the land is predominantly urban or urbanizing. The District’s new urban program supports urban farmers, community gardens, and other local agricultural partnerships implement conservation practices that support local food production, provide opportunities for education and stewardship, and protect natural resources. The program is based in Albany, Georgia. Learn more at www.flintriverfresh.org.
Dynamic Variable Rate Irrigation
The Flint River SWCD received a grant through the Georgia Environmental Protection Division's (EPD) Regional Water Plan Seed Grant program. In addition to the District and EPD, project partners include the University of Georgia (UGA), The Nature Conservancy of Georgia, and Bonneville Environmental Foundation. The purpose of the project is to build on the foundation established in the 2011 CIG project linking the UGA Smart Sensor Array (SSA) and Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) technology. VRI enables the producer to more precisely apply irrigation water and the SSA provides decisions on when and how much to irrigate. Together the two technologies form a dynamic VRI system with remote upload capacity. This project will implement this innovative system and collect data on fields in the Spring Creek Basin.
The peanut industry is an important component of the southern agricultural economy. As consumers and manufacturers grow increasingly interested in supply chain sustainability, multiple groups have worked to define the metrics associated with peanut production that are classified as sustainable. A steering committee of farmers, scientists, and researchers have joined together to expand this effort and conduct a pilot project through a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program project administered by the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District. The primary goal of this pilot project is to build a comprehensive dataset showcasing the sustainable nature of peanut production throughout all peanut-producing regions. An additional goal of this program is to develop an educational program for growers to evaluate their farming practices in comparison with the overall dataset in order to improve their environmental and economic sustainability.