Local Projects

Sugar Creek MRBI Pre-proposal

The Platte Soil and Water Conservation District recently signed a letter of support with NRCS for a pre-proposal to do a joint project with Buchanan County to address resource concerns within the Independence-Sugar Creek watershed.  The project asks for $1,533,800 in federal Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) funds over the life of the project to assist landowners in planning, design, and installation of conservation practices.  The project has been constructed to address nitrogen and phosphorus losses to surface water through key core and supporting practices within five 12-digit hydrologic units that is focused adjacent to the Missouri River.  One-third of the area is in Platte County.   It is anticipated that load reductions realized in sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus will directly benefit the Gulf of Mexico.  If approved, the project is proposed to begin in 2015 and end on September 30, 2018.   More information is expected to be available by the next quarterly newsletter.

Poster Contest

The Platte County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors a poster contest each year offered to fourth grade students in Platte County.

The purpose is to expose young people to a variety of soil conservation information and issues. Videos and PowerPoint presentations on soil, erosion and conservation practices are given in the classroom to prepare the students for the poster contest, while learning more about soil conservation and the need for conserving our natural resources.

Posters are judged on their conservation message, visual effectiveness and originality. Each poster receives either a blue, red or white ribbon. An overall first, second and third place school poster is then selected from each school. 

Below are the school's current winning posters:

Monarchs on the Move

NRCS Soil Conservationist, Garrielle Stephens, and her son attended the August 27, 2016, event at Lakeside Nature Center. The Workshop focused on how to identify and harvest wild milkweed seeds. The seeds are needed to grow milkweed plants throughout the Kansas City area in order to feed monarch caterpillars.

Monarchs on the move

USDA Launches Plant a Window Box for Pollinators:

USDA kicked off a campaign to get Americans of all ages to “Plant a Window Box for Pollinators” by using their new online tool on the new People’s Garden Initiative website. The tool helps users select the appropriate pollinator plants based on their location and provides a printable list to take to your local garden store. The campaign aims to teach people how easy it is to provide habitat for local pollinators and encourage more people to grown pollinator-friendly plants in their own backyards. Visitors to the new People’s Garden site can also play a virtual window box planting game or view the popular “bee cam” which broadcasts a live feed of honeybee activity from the room of the USDA headquarters building in Washington, D.C. The website also features an interactive map of the more than 2,100 gardens planted since Agriculture Secretary Vilsack launched the People’s Garden Initiative at the start of the Obama Administration. It also has success stories, resources and guides for creating your own garden that benefits the community and incorporates sustainable practices. The website’s launch comes on the eve of the USDA’s designation of April as National Garden Month.

Northwest Missouri Grazing School 2016

What is a Management Intensive Grazing System? 

Management intensive grazing (also known as rotational grazing management) is a system where grazing is managed for both the benefit of the livestock and forage. Livestock graze in each pasture long enough to harvest the forage, but are removed before too much leaf area is consumed. A basic system may have 4 or 5 pastures while a more management intensive system will have 8 to 10 pastures.

Why should I attend this school? 

The single most important management factor in determining the profitability of a livestock operation is keeping feed cost low.

So why buy forage when you can grow high quality feed yourself through a management intensive grazing (MIG) system? Cost control, not the amount of production, separates profitable from unprofitable operations. Through a MIG system you can keep your cost down and production in most cases will increase, all while helping out the environment. 

In addition to profits to your pocket book and environmental benefits you may be eligible to receive cost share assistance to help establish your MIG system. 
The Natural Resources Conservation Service and University of Missouri Extension will present the 2016 Northwest Missouri Grazing School at the MU Hundley Whaley Research Center in Albany, Missouri (1109 S. Birch St. 64402) June 28-30, 2016. 

The “tuition” will be $110 per person (second person with full registration will be $60). The tuition covers the costs of the seminars including meals, speaker fees, refreshments, on-farm tour equipment, fence and water system demonstration, materials and the following references: Missouri Grazing Manual, Forages and Weeds of Pastures, and a grazing stick. You also receive these free publications: Electric Fencing for Serious Graziers, and Watering Systems for Serious Graziers. Registration for the school is limited to 30 people. Contact Nathan Bilke with the Natural Resources Conservation Service at 660-582-7125 ext. 3 (email: Nathan.Bilke@mo.usda.gov) or your local NRCS office.

This School will feature information on these topics: 

  • Pasture Fertility 
  • Forage Estimates 
  • Grazing Heights 
  • Grazing Basics 
  • Livestock Water 
  • Fencing 
  • Soils and Topology 
  • Inventorying Farm Resources 
  • Plant Growth and Species 
  • Extending the Grazing Season 
  • Forage Quality Discussion 
  • Pastureland Soil Health 
  • Layout and Design of a MIG System 
  • Economics of Grazing 
  • Farm Visits (onsite functioning MIG systems) 
  • Meeting Nutritional needs of Livestock with Pasture -Matching Livestock with Forage Resources