2018 95th Dallas County Soils And Crops Conference

95th Dallas County Soils and Crops Conference held at the O’Bannon Community Center on February 15th.

Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District technician Matt Hale reported about cost-share programs funded by the state’s eighth-cent conservation tax. In fiscal year 2017 $136,083 was returned to county landowners, and so far in fiscal year 2018, $167,322 in applications have been approved. Cost-share projects in 2017 included 21 planned grazing systems, eight seedings, 17 nutrient management practices, two riparian buffers, six well decommissionings, six timber exclusions and three spring developments.

The Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District Cooperator of the Year award recognizes an operation that strives to improve environmental quality on their own farm and helps the district achieve its conservation goals.

The 2017 Dallas County Cooperators of the Year – Roger and Cindy Moore, were presented a plaque from Tony Rosen, Dallas County SWCD District Technician at the 95th Dallas County Soils and Crops Conference held at the O’Bannon Community Center on February 15th.

We first started working with Roger in 2012. He had purchased a tract of land where he planned to build his retirement home. At the time he was interested in tree planting, wildlife and organic gardening, but those plans grew.

He purchased another piece of land a few miles away and was ready to start improvements there, as well — which included forestry management and a grazing system.

He took soil tests and started liming, fertilizing and overseeding the pasture land, and also started within with a U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service forester to improve his timber, not only for wildlife, but also future marketing.

Meanwhile, he attended the Dallas County and Polk County grazing school and started installing high tensile electric fencing on his homeplace. He worked with the Missouri Department of Conservation private land conservationist to establish native warm season grasses on some pastures and over sewed legumes on the rest.

Once this system was up and running, he started installing his grazing system on a second piece of ground. Not long afterward, that system was operational and ready for cattle.

Some time later a neighbor offered to sell the Moore land that adjoined their homeplace, and a third project is under way with more electric fence and freeze-proof waterers.