Soil & Water Conservation Program

Available Soil and Water Conservation Practices

The available practices are grouped according to resource concerns that you may have on your agricultural land. To find out more specific information on what practices are available in your county, contact your local soil and water conservation district.

Animal Waste Management

It is important to manage the nutrients in waste created by livestock production. Systems are available to protect surface and groundwater from pollutants and to recycle waste through correct soil application.

Grazing Management

Missouri ranks third in the nation for cow/calf production, which utilizes the many acres of pastureland in the state. Installing a grazing system will reduce feed costs, improve profitability, reduce or prevent erosion and protect water quality.

Groundwater Protection

Groundwater is water beneath the Earth's surface that fills pores between materials such as sand, soil or gravel. Landowners can voluntarily install a composting facility, spring development or close an abandoned well, which can all have an impact on water quality.

Gully Erosion

Gully erosion is severe erosion in which trenches are cut into the soil by running water. Water is channeled across unprotected land and the soil is washed away along drainage lines. By diverting the water flow and stabilizing the gully, this problem can be overcome.

Irrigation Management

Irrigation is the artificial application of water to land to assist in the production of crops. The correct application and timing of irrigation is critical to reduce nutrient, pesticide and sediment loss.

Nutrient Management

Nutrients already in the soil and those that are applied need to be managed appropriately to create less runoff and leeching through the soil after a rainfall. This protects water quality and can reduce the amount of fertilizer needed by a landowner.

Pest Management

Pest management involves reducing the amount of pesticides landowners apply to lessen the number of contaminants in ground and surface water. Pest management also works to improve the plant community on crops and grasslands which increases ground cover and reduces erosion.

Sensitive Areas

Agricultural land along streams, springs or fields that has the potential to preserve water quality by filtering and absorbing pollutants is known as a sensitive area. Buffers, one example of a sensitive area, collect and filter out sediment and other nutrients that run off of agricultural fields.

Sheet and Rill Erosion

Sheet erosion occurs when a very thin layer of soil erodes and often goes unnoticed. Rill erosion happens when a concentrated flow of water causes small channels to develop. Left untreated, the most productive part of the soil will be lost.

Streambank Erosion

Landowners are losing land to streambank erosion every year. Streambanks need to be protected by providing adequate vegetation, stabilizing the bank. Water quality will also be improved.

Woodland Erosion

Soil, waterways and timber production suffer when woodlands are grazed.The removal of soil or vegetation through animal feeding and trampling or improper tree harvesting allows soil to become susceptible to erosion.