Farm SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT

The Pierce Conservation District's Farm Planning and Agricultural Assistance Program has an array of services and equipment available to assist you in both improving your farm's productivity and protecting and enhancing natural resources. Some of our services include:

SOIL SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS

If you're not testing, you're guessing! Take the guesswork out of fertilizing your crops, pastures, or hayfields with Pierce Conservation District's Soil Testing Program. Soil testing is the best way to determine the right rate, timing, placement, and source of fertilizers or amendments for your particular crop and site conditions. Pierce Conservation District assists in analyzing and providing recommendations based on your soil or nutrient test results. By fertilizing based on soil test results, you will ensure that you do not overapply or underapply nutrients that your crop needs.

If you are a commercial crop farmer, grow hay, or have pasture, you may be eligible for five FREE soil tests or two FREE manure tests! 

To schedule a site visit for taking a soil sample, contact one of our Farm Team Specialists today! 

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MANURE SHARE PROGRAM

In order to prevent the contamination of local waterways and groundwater, Pierce Conservation District maintains a contact list of local livestock farms that have more manure than they can utilize on their properties. Gardeners, landscapers, and crop farmers seeking a natural source of nutrients can contact the livestock owners directly to arrange pick-up or delivery, and they can use WSU Extension's Publication PNW0533: Fertilizing with Manure to more efficiently manage nutrients from solid animal manures by accurately calculating how much manure should be applied. If you are a livestock owner who would like to be included in our Manure Share Program, contact our farm team to register!

 Here is a list of livestock owners participating who have composted livestock manure available

INTRODUCTION TO OUR MANURE SHARE PROGRAM


SMALL SCALE POULTRY PROCESSING UNIT RENTAL

Small-scale poultry processing equipment is available to rent from the Pierce Conservation District. From Featherman Equipment Company, this system is user friendly, makes processing delightfully speedy, and is simple to transport.  This equipment makes it possible to process anywhere from a small backyard flock of 5 birds to up to 200 birds an hour, depending on skill level and number of helpers.  Equipment available for rent includes the Featherman PRO Plucker, Scalder, Dunker, Shackles, Kill Cone Stand, and 8 Broiler or Turkey Cones.  Borrowers will need to provide: access to a power source for plucker plug-in, buckets, chill tanks, knives, meat storage bags, propane for heating scalding water, scrubbing brushes and dishwashing soap for clean-up, and a water hose.  Chicken and turkey units are available, however the turkey unit requires a 220 volt outlet.

One of the best attributes of the Featherman system is no more hand plucking! The Featherman PRO Plucker is a plastic cylinder, resembling a washing machine basin with a spinning bottom. The sides and bottom of the plucker are lined with rubber fingers. Birds freshly dunked in scald water go directly into the plucker and feathers come off in seconds. For more information on how this equipment works, visit Featherman’s website for great demonstration videos.

RENTAL PROCESS

Plan ahead and make reservations to rent in advance. At this time, we are suspending rentals to those outside Pierce County. This may be updated to include out of county rentals once we are in Phase 4. Check back for updates.  A similar program has proven very popular in Mason County, where poultry processing equipment has been available for rent from the Small Farms Program, which is run jointly by the Mason Conservation District and Washington State University. The Thurston and King Conservation Districts also offer poultry processing equipment for rental.

RENTAL FEES

Fees are $40 a day or $75 for the weekend, and a $40 refundable cleaning deposit is required. To make a reservation for the poultry unit, please fill out a reservation request form.  The poultry units are kept on small utility trailers requiring a 2" ball and are passed from borrower to borrower.  For more information contact our Administrative Assistance, Carly Canter (253) 845-9770.

DSC01769_edited (680x657)

MANURE SPREADER RENTALS

To help you implement one of the components of your farm's manure management program, the Pierce Conservation District has two manure spreaders available for rent to Pierce County residents. One is a Frontier 25-bushel (1/2 cubic yard capacity) that is ground driven and can be pulled by a lawn tractor or ATV. The other is a Mill Creek 45-bushel (2 cubic yard capacity) that is ground driven an can be pulled by a compact tractor.

As this equipment was purchased through water quality improvement funding, the only prerequisites we have are that you must have had a recent soil test that shows nutrient need, and/or a site visit from your area's farm planner to confirm that you have adequate pasture to utilize the nutrients in the manure.

RENTAL PROCESS AND FEES

All rental fees go into a fund to maintain and repair the spreaders. The rental fee is $30 per day, or $40 for a weekend rental. The spreaders are passed between users via utility trailers that they are transported on.  These trailers require a 2" ball. There is also $50 refundable cleaning deposit that will be returned once users send in photos of the trailers prior to transport to the next user.

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NO-TILL SEED DRILL RENTAL AND TRAINING VIDEOS

We have a Land Pride 606NT pull-type, no-till seed drill available for rent. At a 6 ft. working width with optional capacities for native grass and small seeds, the drill is ideal for any cover crop or pasture renovation application if you have a minimum 40 HP tractor.

RENTAL PROCESS

We require borrowers to attend one of our no-till drill workshops that are held throughout the year to learn the basics of operating the drill. Alternatively, watch the videos below and take a short operator's test to meet this pre-requisite. To take the operators test once you've completed the videos, click here. To reserve the no-till seed drill or for more information, contact Alison Nichols. 

RENTAL FEES

The rental fee for using the drill is the delivery fee charged by Jennings Equipment of Puyallup to drop off and pick up the drill from your farm. See below for Jennings delivery fees for select cities

Buckley: $222              Gig Harbor: $244               Orting, Puyallup, Sumner, Tacoma: $178

Roy, Graham: $266      Eatonville: $360

NO-TILL SEED DRILL TRAINING VIDEO

LAND PRIDE MANUFACTURER'S TRAINING VIDEO

LAND PRIDE 6060T SEEDING DEMONSTRATION TRAINING VIDEO


OPERATORS MANUALS

Land Pride 606NT Operator's Manual

No-Till Drill Seeding Rate Manual

ELECTRIC FENCING EQUIPMENT RENTAL

TEMPORARY ELECTRIC FENCING

Interested in improving your grazing management? Pierce Conservation District rents two types of temporary electric fence – Gallagher SmartFence II and Premier1 Electronetting. From chickens to cattle, these options can help you try more intensive pasture management before committing to permanent infrastructure or costly equipment.

ELECTRIC FENCING TOOLS

The district has electric fencing tools available for loan:

  • Wire payout spinner
  • In-line wire tightener
  • 3-hole wire tightening tool
  • Strainer handle
  • Post hole digger
  • Ironwood post pounder

RENTAL FEES

There is no rental fees associated with the fencing or tools, but a $50 refundable deposit is required.

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HAY CORER FOR FORAGE ANALYSIS RENTAL

The district has a hay probe available for check-out. Having your hay analyzed is the only way to determine the actual nutrient content of hay in order to balance your livestock's rations. A hay analysis is also a great way for hay growers to market their product.

RENTAL PROCESS AND RENTAL FEES

There is no rental fee for use of the hay probe, but a $50 refundable deposit is required. Contact your area's farm planner to arrange pick-up of the probe.

core sampler

FLAIL MOWER RENTAL

We have a Land Pride FM2572 flail mower available to borrow or rent, depending on what you will be using it for. The flail has a 72” cutting width with hammer knives and cutting height of 0-6”. A 42-80 HP tractor is needed to run the flail. This piece of equipment is especially well suited for terminating cover crops and prepping existing ground cover for no-till seeding with the PCD’s no-till drill.

Flail picture and specs.

RENTAL PROCESS AND FEES

The drill is available free of charge for cover crop applications if you are able to transport the mower using your own trailer from Jennings Equipment of Puyallup. Jennings will not load the mower into truck beds. Alternatively, Jennings is able to deliver the flail mower to farms. See below for Jennings Equipment delivery fees for select cities.

Buckley: $222                Gig Harbor: $244               Orting, Puyallup, Sumner, Tacoma: $178

Roy, Graham: $266        Eatonville: $360

For uses outside of cover crop related projects, the mower can be rented for $15/day or $25/weekend, plus Jennings Equipment delivery fees if you are not able to transport the mower using your own trailer.

RENTAL RESERVATIONS

Contact Alison Nichols, 253-845-9770 EXT. 132 for more information or to rent the flail mower.

REDUCED TILLAGE IN ORGANIC VEGETABLE PRODUCTION DEMONSTRATION VIDEO


COVER CROP TERMINATION IN REDUCED TILLAGE ORGANIC VEGETABLE PRODUCTION DEMONSTRATION VIDEO


LIVESTOCK WATERING PUMPS RENTAL

Streams, ponds, and lake banks are all susceptible to the same types of damage from livestock. Sediment from eroded banks due to hoof traffic entering waterways covers fish spawning gravels, smothers eggs, clogs fish gills, and changes water temperatures and degrades overall water quality. 

Streams, ponds, and lakes are also susceptible to an overaccumulation of certain nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, that can be found in livestock manure and soil from eroded banks. These high levels of certain nutrients can cause excessive aquatic plant ground and algae blooms. As aquatic plants and algae decay, they consume oxygen, resulting in decreased oxygen levels in the waterway. Reduced oxygen levels can increase fatalities in fish and other aquatic organisms. 

Livestock manure also contain bacteria and viruses, which in high quantities can contaminate drinking water, shellfish growing areas, and public use areas for swimming and fishing. 

One option to employ to restrict livestock from water bodies, but still allow access to this water as a drinking source, is to install nose pumps. Nose pumps provide on-demand drinking water for livestock, while at the same time, allow you fence livestock off from the waterbody to protect water quality and habitat.

RENTAL PROCESS AND FEES

Nose pumps are available to rent free of charge. We require a $50 refundable deposit. If you try nose pumps and decide this system is right for you, Pierce Conservation District's Farm Team may be able to work with you to secure funding for your purchase of this new equipment. 

nose pump

MOBILE MEAT PROCESSING UNIT

In 2009 the Pierce Conservation District purchased a USDA-capable mobile slaughter unit to assist the farmers of the South Puget Sound region. This mobile unit has been leased to Puget Sound Processing, LLC beginning since April 1, 2016.  The unit is used to supply local meat to local consumers with USDA approval.  The Conservation District continues to work with Puget Sound Processing, LLC to ensure that the unit is used effectively to provide benefit to the producers, consumers and taxpayers of Pierce County.

Access a previous version of our Tahoma View Newsletter for a recap of the ribbon cutting event.

RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION

For more information and for scheduling, please contact Puget Sound Processing, LLC at (253) 254-1903 or visit www.pugetsoundprocessing.com.

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