The annual local USDA work group meeting in Brookfield was July 9 at noon and focussed on local resource concerns.

The group was made up of the board for the Linn County soil and water conservation district.

The local USDA work group attended an annual meeting in Brookfield July 9 at noon. The group was comprised of board members from the Linn County soil and water conservation district.

During the meeting, the group discussed local resource concerns for the Conservation Stewardship Program, CSP and concerns for Environmental Quality Incentives Program, EQIP. The concerns discussed for each program were cropland, pasture and hay, forest and wildlife for EQIP participants, as well as forestry and agriculture land for CSP participants.

According to the local work groups, the three biggest resource concerns facing Linn County agriculture lands are soil erosion, soil quality degradation and water quality degradation. The work groups also discussed the three biggest resource concerns for forestry land. Those resource concerns being; soil erosion, degraded plant condition and water quality degradation.

The program helping curb these resource concerns is CSP, which is offered by the USDA. The voluntary program allows landowners to meet their goals and improve their land.

The local groups decided these were the biggest concerns facing the Northeast Missouri region last year. During the meeting this year, the groups suggested no changes be made from the concerns brought up last year.

The meeting also covered resource concerns for EQIP. The national program works to benefit landowners by reducing challenges, while conserving resources. The local groups decided the biggest resource concerns facing Northeast Missouri are; soil erosion, soil quality degradation, excess water, water quality degradation, plant condition, fish and wildlife inadequate habitat and livestock production limitations.

According to acting district conservationist Clint Roby, the programs help local landowners.

“The programs have been very successful helping local farmers and the local economy,” Roby said. “The meetings are a way for local people interested in how the USDA chooses resource concerns, which need to be addressed.”

Any landowner can participate in the USDA programs. The work group meetings are conducted in each county, or field office service area in the state and identify the most important resource concerns. The concerns will affect how programs like EQIP and CSP are administered. Data for Northeast Missouri resource concerns is collected at similar work group meetings, which happen in Linn County, Randolph County, Macon County and Chariton County.