The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Benefits of filter strips listed 2012.06.27

Written by David Green.

Landowners are likely to finance filter strips with cost share programs, not credit cards, but like those credit card commercials say, the benefits are priceless. Not only do filter strips protect water quality by trapping soil particles, nutrients and pesticides, they can also improve water infiltration and enhance wildlife habitat.

The recommended vegetation and dimensions vary depending on soils, land uses, and surface water flow (runoff), but filter strips all have the same basic function. Ideally, water runoff spreads out and flows as a thin “sheet” across the filter strip. Vegetation slows the runoff enough to let some suspended soil particles, plant debris and other contaminants settle out. This reduces sedimentation in streams. Trapping sediments in filter strips can be especially beneficial in streams that provide subsurface drainage outlets, as it can help reduce sediment removal costs associated with drainage maintenance.

Some plant nutrients, such as phosphorus and the ammonium form of nitrogen, bind to soil sediment, so trapping the sediment also traps those nutrients. Certain pesticides are also trapped with soil particles. In the filter strip, those pesticides break down and the nutrients fertilize the vegetation rather than disrupting the balance of life in the water downstream. 

Another advantage is that water moving slowly through a filter strip has more time to soak in instead of running off and adding to surface flow. The ground in a filter strip is often more permeable than crop ground, so water soaks in faster, too. 

Filter strips offer a variety of other benefits. The setback afforded by filter strips generally assures that less drift from spray applications will reach ditches or streams. This setback also provides a greater measure of safety to farm operators, as machinery can’t operate as close to potentially hazardous stream or ditch banks. Under certain conditions, filter strips may also offer access to fields that might otherwise be hard to reach at certain times of the year.

Although filter strips usually aren’t installed primarily to benefit wildlife, the vegetation provides food and cover that is especially attractive to songbirds and small mammals. The strips can also become travel corridors so wildlife can move from one area of habitat to another without the risk of crossing open fields.

Researchers have measured the advantages of filter strips with small-scale studies on individual fields and small watersheds. But showing the benefits in larger watersheds is still a challenge. Even if a filter strip makes a dramatic difference in the quality of water leaving a particular field, the benefit can be hard to measure in water from the whole watershed. That’s why it’s so important for landowners throughout a watershed to install filter strips.

For more information about putting in filter strips contact the Fulton SWCD at 419-337-9217 or visit the website at: http://swcd.fultoncountyoh.com.

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