Managing Mud

NRCS's Victor Shelton is in the middle of a wet and muddy spring in Indiana. He tells us, "As much as I like the warmer days right now, I probably wouldn’t turn down some frozen ground to reduce mud and the impact of very saturated ground.  One guy told me that if it were just a hair warmer, he might go barefoot since he was tired of getting his boots stuck in the mud." Here's his suggestion for prepping for these conditions in the future. If you are not prepared for wet weather, then it can be quite frustrating.  Mud is certainly worse around feeding, watering, and other concentrated areas. One of the best solutions for these concentrated areas is to install a conservation practice called a Heavy Use Area Protection (HUAP), e.g., feed and watering pads. HUAPs are fairly simple to construct and better yet, very economical. Retired NRCS technician Mary Lee Smith recently noted that HUAP’s were the best thing since sliced bread; just a fantastic practice! While it's not likely that you can install one during a wet spring, put these installation instructions in your back-pocket for a summer project. And remember that HUAPs are available for cost-share through some NRCS and conservation district programs. Contact your local USDA field office for more information. Heavy Use Area Protection You start by leveling the area to remove excess o

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