09-01: Allowing practice payments on watering facilities in cropland through the Natural Resource Conservation Service Programs

WHEREAS, the farm and grazing lands of the state of Montana are among the basic assets of the state

WHEREAS, Conservation Districts (CD) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) share a commitment to the conservation of the natural resources at the local level and advocate comprehensive resource management planning:

WHEREAS, both parties agree to use the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG) and other science based technical standards as appropriate for planning and application of conservation practices. The local FOTG can be revised or supplemented based on local conditions or new technology;

WHEREAS, these practices facilitate the resting of native rangeland resources.  Save energy due to feeding of cattle on cropland allowing the waste to be applied directly to the fields and not have to be haled out of drylots.  Reduce potential water quality issues by dispersing manure across the field rather than in concentrated feeding area. Help in the control of weeds by grazing.  Encourage the adoption alternative and cover crops by allowing them to be used as forage. Improved soil health. Encourage adoption of Organic Agriculture, where your options for weed control and nutrient management are limited to grazing and cover crops.

WHEREAS, CD’S are encouraged to periodically review the FOTG and recommend changes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop specifications and policy within the scope of the FOTG that will allow NRCS planners with appropriate job approval to plan and allow the cost sharing of these practices on cropland when there is a natural resource benefit to do so.