NRCS collaborates with North Carolina cattle farmer to improve local groundwater quality

Learn how a farmer and NRCS are teaming up to implement beneficial environmental stewardship practices.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) continues its collaborations with farmers and ranchers to implement beneficial environmental stewardship practices. Today, the focus is on Eddie Culberson’s farm, where NRCS played a pivotal role in establishing a filter strip—an essential measure to safeguard water quality.

A filter strip, as explained by the NRCS representative, is a designated area with grass or permanent vegetation strategically placed to mitigate the runoff of sediment, nutrients, pesticides, and other contaminants before reaching surface water or groundwater. Culberson, who operates a beef cattle farm with a significant emphasis on intensive grazing, identified a specific area prone to runoff issues.

With a 35-acre farm in Chatham County, he has been actively engaged in farming since 2000, managing a diverse set of livestock, including beef cows, goats, and chickens. The filter strip, integrated into the broader system, plays a crucial role in enhancing water quality and demonstrating responsible land stewardship.

Culberson emphasizes the importance of being good stewards to those downstream, underlining the primary benefits of the filter strip—soil conservation, aquatic wildlife habitat, and improved water quality. The selected grass for the filter strip, fescue, not only prevents grazing to maintain year-round vegetation but also facilitates subsurface nutrient uptake, contributing to the overall health of the land.

The collaboration with NRCS aligns seamlessly with Mr. Culberson’s vision for sustainable agriculture. He sees NRCS practices as instrumental in ensuring that natural resources endure for generations to come. By implementing measures like the filter strip, Mr. Culberson and NRCS are helping the preservation of the land and the promotion of environmental stewardship in North Carolina.

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