Consider that pipeline’s impact to your pasture and hay fields

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Pipeline construction through farmland

Guernsey County Pipeline construction is critical to the development of Ohio’s shale resources. Shale development continues to expand and so does the need for pipelines.

Many landowners are approached by companies who want to construct a pipeline across their property. We strongly encourage landowners to consult with an experienced attorney and other advisors when considering and negotiating a pipeline easement.

While a landowner will likely receive a “standard pipeline agreement” from a company, the landowner should consider this as a starting point for negotiation. Landowners often ask if there are standards for installation which should be followed.

The Division of Soil and Water Conservation in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has developed a comprehensive set of standards for pipeline construction that address issues such as soil compaction, erosion and drainage.

Following these standards will help in minimizing impacts on soil and water resources. A landowner can include the ODNR standards in the easement. The standards can be found here: http://soilandwater.ohiodnr.gov/portals/soilwater/pdf/swcd/PipelineStandard_12-3-13.pdf.

Following these standards can help to ensure the area is reclaimed as well as possible for agricultural purposes but these standards are not the only concern landowners should consider.

The OSU Extension Ohio Agronomy Guide, Bulletin 472, available from your local Extension office, is a useful guide for all aspects of proper forage seeding establishment, including the optimal dates of seeding.

Select forages

Landowners should select the forages they want reestablished. The majority of pastures and hay fields in Ohio are composed of perennial cool-season grasses and legumes.

The perennial grasses most often included in these mixtures are: festulolium (fescue x ryegrass cross), Kentucky bluegrass, orchardgrass, perennial ryegrass, reed canarygrass, smooth bromegrass, tall fescue and timothy.

The most common forage legumes to consider are alfalfa and red and white clover. In managing these forages the difficulty in obtaining a productive stand is greatly influenced by planting date.

Remember there are many tools at your disposal to thicken the stand and control weeds.

These include mowing, soil testing, grazing and the use of herbicides. In addition, if seeding a cool season grass it may be wise to consider the use of a warm or cool season annual as a cover crop.

Proper forage establishment is only part of the impact pipeline and right-of way’s have on farmland.

Upcoming classes

To better understand these impacts consider attending an OSU Extension class.

OSU Extension offers an educational class on pipeline easements and right-of-ways covering important aspect impacting Ohio farmland owners and our next class is April 16, 7 p.m. at the Mid-East Vocational School in Buffalo.

To register for the class, call the Guernsey County OSU Extension office at 740-489-5300 the cost is $5 or go on line and print off the registration form here: http://guernsey.osu.edu/events/pipeline-easement-and-right-way-agreements-program.

More about pipeline agreements

Read this before you sign that pipeline easement lease April 26, 2013

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