Needs Assessment

The Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission is charged with allocating cost-share appropriations to the 114 districts throughout the state based upon each district’s need. In order to do this more judiciously, the commission is requesting that each district perform a multi-year needs assessment of their county. Starting next year, the distribution of cost-share by the commission will be partly based on this assessment. Natural resource concerns will be at the heart of a comprehensive report reflecting district needs for cost-share assistance.

During the needs assessment process which will begin this fall, boards and staff will break down the resource needs of each district based on 11 main concerns including:

  • Sheet and rill erosion
  • Gully erosion
  • Grazing management
  • Woodland erosion
  • Sensitive areas
  • Irrigation management
  • Animal waste management
  • Nutrient management
  • Pest management
  • Groundwater protection
  • Streambank erosion

In order to determine which soil erosion and water quality concerns are priorities and what level of funding to allocate to each, districts will use a variety of methods including Missouri county profiles, cost-share usage records, landowner surveys and informational meetings. The findings will be reviewed and presented to the commission next year where a decision will be made on how best to allocate available cost-share dollars to districts for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009.

Specific conservation practices are available through the state cost-share program to target each of the natural resource concerns cited above. For example, to combat sheet and rill erosion, terrace systems, permanent vegetative cover establishment, no-till systems and more may be recommended. Diversions, sod waterways and water impoundment reservoirs are among useful practices to control gully erosion. In Jackson County, nine cost-share practices are currently on the docket with several more available as the need arises.

An important component of the needs assessment process for determining cost-share allocation is input from landowners and operators throughout Jackson County. Our district is interested in knowing what soil erosion and water-quality concerns are important to landowners and which practices they feel are needed in the next three to five years. This information will be at the core of the needs assessment report to the commission, which will determine future Jackson County cost-share allocations. Landowners and operators wishing to express future cost-share needs to our district should contact Linda Struewe or call the district office at 816-228-1161, ext. 3.