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The Montana Conservationist, V14 I7

This week in The Montana Conservationist:

  • AIS inspectors have found 13 boats transporting invasive species in Montana, an increase over previous years. It’s more important now than ever to stay vigilant!
  • An MSU research team has received a grant to further study invasive cheatgrass.
  • This week, the Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which includes permanent funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund. The bill has bipartisan support, and will now move to the House.
  • An $8 million project is underway to repair drop structures 2 and 5 on the St Mary Canal, after structure 5 failed last month.
  • The Montana Free Press has an interesting profile on a poultry farmer in Plains, and the uncertain future of succession as Montana’s agricultural producers age.
  • Farm Progress has details on a cool study of the capillary fringe – the zone of soil above the water table, where important processes like contaminant breakdown and carbon storage occur.
  • A new study shows that “agro-forestry” or, planting woody species amongst crops, can improve habitat for wild pollinators.
  • On Pasture has an insightful piece that shows the importance of looking at a problem from a new angle. Here, field bindweed – an aggressive invasive – turns out to be super nutritious forage.
  • We all know that cover crops are important for soil health, but a new ten year study shows that they can also improve the bottom line of operations. The keyword here is longterm. The authors write that if the study had been stopped at a shorter period, the results would have been different, and skewed.

Read this week’s TMC for SO MUCH SCIENCE! Plus a LOT of opportunities: TMC 2020-06-19

Kate is the Communications and Technology Manager for Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Montana. She manages the website, puts out The Montana Conservationist every other week, and assists conservation districts with technology, websites, and communications.

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