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NRCS: Soil Conservation in Action . Interview With KEVIN DONOHO District soil conservationist . Kevin Donoho. District Conservationist Almost every county has a district conservationist, or in neighboring county

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nrcs soil conservation in action

NRCS: Soil Conservation in Action




District soil conservationist

kevin donoho
Kevin Donoho

District Conservationist

Almost every county has a district conservationist, or in neighboring county

Helps coordinate conservation needs of the county with Soil and Water conservation district

Match the needs of farm owner, land owner, ect. with the practices within the NRCS

Involves managing and implementing practices while providing cost shares for farmers or land owners, via contracts

history of nrcs
History of NRCS

Been around for 75 years

Create in Response to the Dust Bowl

Originally Soil Erosion Service

Changed Quickly

At first, Soil Conservation Service, but in 1995 broadened scope

Create in Response to the Dust Bowl

what does the nrcs do
What Does the NRCS do??

Soil Conservation is backbone of agency

Many jobs within agency from Engineer to Soil Scientist to Soil Conservationist

Equip Program-Environmental Quality Incentives Program- Big NRCS program – designed to provide incentives and cost shares to encourage produces to implement practices on crop land, everything from nutrient management, no-till, strip-till, drainage management, contour cropping– basically all practices, AND COVER CROPS!!!

Provide the technical service for CRP program, Farm Service Agency does the contracts

Difference between Equip and CRP, Equip does not provide provide annual payments

main conservation goals
Main Conservation Goals

Listen to needs of farmers

Match their plans for implementing practices with local soil and water conservation district

Involves addressing all natural resource issues- air quality, water quality, soil erosion, soil quality

Protect prime farmland from Urban Sprawl- protection and wise use

Protect Wildlife habitat- WHIP program Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program

Wetland Reserve Program- also addresses wildlife

Figure out farmer primary goals and move on from there, don’t want to think for the farmer

easily adapted practices
Easily Adapted Practices

Grass Waterways

#1 Reason- Soil Erosion

Area drives the practices

RI- contour farming, terraces

practices not as easily adopted
Practices Not as Easily Adopted

Strip Till- deep-place N, P, K and plant corn crop over exact same strips- because they are injected won’t run-off- improve water quality- no broadcast

Drainage water management – modifying you tile drainage system- only use drainage while growing crop- when crop is not there put in structures within tile system that have surface access point where you can change point that water can get too– stop logs

2-3 weeks before you plant in spring take logs out- when crop is harvested put gates back in


Need a lot of research showing that practices work before farmers implement things!!!!!!

educating farmers
Educating Farmers

Contractors meetings- land improvement contractors, ones that actually build things- update them on new practices- remind them what is required for meat and potatoes practices

Newsletters, email lists

Nothing gets more attention then something running bull-dozer, scraper, tile machine– word of mouth

District hosts annual meeting every year-usually in Jan.-opportunity to say here is what we did during the past year, lay out guidelines for where they are going next year- county board, congressmen, producers, contractors, other agency partners


Agriculture is backbone of society

We have a huge responsibility to produce food and fiber but also producers are primary environmentalists