The Mercer County Soil Conservation District (MCSCD) works cooperatively with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and other agencies to deliver conservation programs to Mercer County residents. Conservation programs provide assistance to landowners and agricultural producers in order to better conserve natural resources on private and public land. The MCSCD is the local link to conservation funding, providing technical assistance and conservation planning protecting the county's natural resources.
The North Dakota Forest Service (NDFS) offers technical and financial assistance to private landowners to restore, protect and enhance planted or native forest. Many planted shelterbelts and farmstead windbreaks in North Dakota have deteriorated due to age or disease and are no longer functional. NDFS can assist landowners in assessing their windbreak condition and providing a written plan for renovating the windbreak to restore functionality. NDFS also offers cost-share to implement the plan.
The Conservation Stewardship Program helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment.
Eligible lands include private and Tribal agricultural lands, cropland, grassland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial private forest land. CSP is available to all producers, regardless of operation size or type of crops produced, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Caribbean and Pacific Island areas. Applicants may include individuals, legal entities, joint operations or Indian tribes that meet the stewardship threshold for at least two priority resource concerns when they apply. They must also agree to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least one additional priority resource concern by the end of the contract.
Streams and lakes throughout the country are impaired because of excess nitrogen, phosphorus, pathogens and sediment from urban areas, industries, farms and ranches, and other sources. Through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), NRCS and partners work with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality in high-priority watersheds while maintaining agricultural productivity.
NWQI provides a means to accelerate voluntary, private lands conservation investments to improve water quality with dedicated financial and technical assistance and to focus water quality monitoring and assessment funds where they are most needed. Water quality-related conservation practices enhance agricultural profitability through reduced input and enhanced soil health, which results in higher soil organic matter, increased infiltration and water-holding capacity and nutrient cycling.
Mercer County SCD is offering a new service for ranchers with CSP contracts that include the NUTBAL enhancement. MCSCD will assist with data entry, scheduling, collection and shipping of fecal samples. County ranchers can use the NUTBAL PRO software to determine if the current pasture/rangeland diet is sufficient to meet their livestock nutritional needs.
NUTBAL Pro reports provide valuable information that helps you balance animal nutritional needs with contributions from grazing and forage. The reports will select the most cost efficient feed alternative, amount to be fed, and cost per day and evaluate feed’s values with regards to the animal’s nutrient deficiency or desired gain. The program monitors the quality of the grazing forages throughout the year and helps you better understand animal nutritional needs as they change throughout the year.
All programs and services of the Mercer and Dunn County Soil Conservation Districts are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status or handicap.