Soil and Water Conservation Program
The Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Program assists farmers and landowners with soil and water conservation by providing partial reimbursement for a number management practices. These voluntary practices are designed to address areas such as grazing, irrigation, woodland, pest and nutrient management, animal waste, ground and surface water, and soil erosion. With 50 different practices available, the Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Program can help farmers and landowners with a variety of common issues.
This Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Program supports a soil and water conservation district in each of Missouri’s 114 counties. Each district provides technical and financial assistance, education and best practices to local farmers and landowners.
The Soil and Water Conservation Program is funded by the Parks, Soils and Water sales tax which has been voter-approved for over 30 years. Since the initial passage of the Parks, Soils and Water sales tax, Missouri has prevented more than 177 million tons of soil erosion improving the state’s water quality and keeping farmland productive.
Find information about your local Missouri Soil and Water District online.
Reduce erosion, improve water quality and soil health by planting cover crops. More...
Assistance offered by the Soil and Water Conservation Program
This program provides incentives for landowners to install conservation practices that prevent or control excessive erosion and protect water quality. Landowners can receive up to 75 percent of the estimated cost of the practice to be reimbursed after the practice has gone through a certification process. For your convenience we have information on how to begin a cost-share practice, online.
Each of the 114 soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) in Missouri receives a district grant to hire personnel, fund technical assistance and provide information and education programs.
Research and Monitoring
The department’s Soil and Water Conservation Program also provides funding for university research, district benefits and administrative costs. The program receives no general revenue funding for soil and water conservation efforts.
Our Missouri Waters Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Our Missouri Waters Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) funds are available to eligible farmers and ranchers with an interest in soil and water conservation practices designed to improve soil health and water quality. Funding will be made available in different watersheds over a five year period. Successful projects will not only assist the participant in maintaining and improving agricultural productivity, but also improve water quality and wildlife habitats throughout the farming region. The funds are being made available through a partnership between the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and DNR’s Soil and Water Conservation Program, along with the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Missouri Soybean Association and the following partner organizations: Lincoln University, Missouri Agribusiness Association, Missouri Association of Councils of Governments, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri soil and water conservation districts. University of Missouri Extension, Women, Food, and Ag Network. Additional information on the federal RCPP program is available through the USDA.
Agricultural Nonpoint Source Special Area Land Treatment (AgNPS SALT) Program
The final year for AgNPS SALT projects was 2015. These long-term projects focused on decreasing agricultural nonpoint source pollution in watersheds. AgNPS SALT used watershed planning to reach goals established to decrease sediments, pesticides and nutrients entering waterways. These projects led to water quality focused conservation practices available statewide.
Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative
The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative, or MRBI is a 12-state effort funded by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service to address nutrient loading in the Mississippi River Basin from its source in Minnesota to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. Among other water quality problems, agricultural runoff and other sources of nutients ultimately contribute to a lack of oxygen downstream in the so-called "dead zone" near where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The Soil and Water Conservation Program partners in this effort. Federal funds will be used along with state, local, and private funds to provide cost-share payments to help agricultural producers install conservation practices to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff from agricultural land.
- The Parks, Soils and Water Sales Tax
- Working for you: The Parks, Soils and Water Sales Tax
- Missouri Envirothon - Pembroke High School wins 1st place at 2015 Missouri Envirothon
- Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission's tour of Lincoln University's George Washington Carver Farm near Jefferson City
- Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission's tour of cover crop research project near Salisbury
The mission of the Soil and Water Conservation Program is to administer the policies and general programs developed by the Soil and Water Districts Commission for the saving of Missouri soil and water through the soil and water conservation districts in their work with landowners.
The primary funding for these cost-share practices comes from the one-tenth-of-one-percent parks, soils and water sales tax, which is shared by the Department of Natural Resources’ Soil and Water Conservation Program and the Division of State Parks.