How Can We Help?
Want to protect your streambank from eroding? Are you ready to update your irrigation system to save water and electricity? Want to learn more about upcoming environmental regulations that might effect your property? Managing natural resources on your property and meeting regulatory requirements can be a challenge, but Benton Conservation District is ready to help! We have the expertise and experience to help you with your natural resource conservation and restoration projects. We can help you develop a conservation plan to meet your goals for your property. We may even be able to offer you financial assistance as well.
A conservation or farm plan is a document assessing specific aspects of a property and outlining best management practices. The plan outline actions developed to meet the owner's goals and financial capabilities. Many things are considered in a plan, including your goals for the property, acreage, soil types, slope of the land, location of wells and septic system, proximity to water bodies, type and numbers of livestock or crops, and resources such as machinery or buildings. You don't have to be a commercial operation to benefit from developing a farm plan! We work with farms of all sizes, from backyard horse owners to dairy operations with large numbers of livestock. We develop plans with standards and specifications provided by the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Do you need a farm plan? See if you do by completing a self-evaluation for:
We look forward to helping you evaluate your farm or homestead.
Erosion is a steady reduction in the soil available on a given piece of land. Soil erosion occurs from two major sources: water and wind. Water erosion may occur from precipitation, the movement of water from streams, lakes, and unlined irrigation canals or from irrigation practices that cause water run-off. Water run-off is most commonly caused by older irrigation systems or leaking underground pipes. Preventative measures might be replacing leaking pipes, upgrading irrigation systems to sprinkler, drip or k line and water and shoreline management programs. Run-off from precipitation tends to occur on steeper slopes or during freeze-thaw events during the winter. Residue management can help minimize water erosion.
Wind erosion occurs when soil particles at the surface of the ground become dislodged from excessive wind velocity. Blowing soil particles can cause a health risk for those with breathing problems. Residue management is the primary control method for wind erosion. Since 2001, the Benton CD has been on the forefront of finding solutions, developing programs for creating ground cover to keep soil in place, and developing programs that stop particulate matter from becoming air-born.
Please contact us for specific programs and concerns about your property. The district is available for site assessments, conservation plans, and occasionally cost share on specific concerns.
Grazing animals on small tracts of land can be a challenge. Proper pasture management is key to maximizing grass stands for forage production and stand health. The Benton Conservation District can provide you with free technical assistance to prepare a conservation plan that will address your pasture management concerns.
Allowing animals' direct access to surface water could put you at risk for enforcement action from the Department of Ecology. The Benton Conservation District can assist you in the design of an off-channel watering facility and may be able to provide cost-share to assist with the project.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
The Benton Conservation District provides technical assistance to dairies and other large concentrated animal operations by preparing nutrient management plans. Nutrient Management plans address the production, storage, transfer and application of manure while protecting surface and groundwater from contamination.
For more information on how we can assist you please contact us.
"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry."
-Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
Because of issues such as the Endangered Species Act, the Department of Ecology has been hesitant to issue new water rights within Benton County. Water conservation may be a solution for providing water for new uses such as irrigation, municipal, industrial, recreation, or in-stream flows. Irrigation represents the vast majority of water use in Benton County and thus represents a large potential for conservation. Urban irrigators tend to be less knowledgeable about plant water needs than commercial agricultural irrigators. Every water user has the responsibility to use water wisely and efficiently. Contact us for ideas and methods of conserving water.