Seeding within the first year of establishment should be evaluated by a local Soil and Water Conservation District to determine if it can withstand grazing.

LANCASTER, Mo. — The Missouri Soil and Water Commission has released approximately 112,780 acres statewide for grazing. The statewide variance allows for acres to be grazed that are normally restricted.

“The commission looked at the need in the state and a lot of the state is dry, so they realized there was a need,” said MU Extension Agricultural Business Specialist Darla Campbell. “Also there’s a carryover with low-soil moisture from last year.”

Acres included in this temporary release are within livestock excluded areas normally under maintenance of a state cost-share contract. The temporary release will expire Sept. 1, 2018. Campbell said the variance applies to the following practices:

  • Woodland protection – land with fenced in timber
  • Water impoundment reservoir – land with a fenced in pond
  • Filter strip – strips of land used to reduce sediment, pesticides and other contaminants from runoff
  • Livestock exclusion – land with a pond or woodland area used to keep livestock out
  • Field border – land along the edge of a field
  • Stream protection – land on either side of a ditch

Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District office if you believe your property is eligible for grazing under this new release.

“Granted it’s not maybe what everybody thinks is ideal acres for grazing,” Campbell said. “But it is definitely a help.”

Moving forward, farmers and ranchers are encouraged to report dry conditions to their county Farm Service Agency.

“Most of them realize how bad the conditions are in certain parts of the state,” Campbell said. “But it doesn’t hurt to be sure to reinforce that with information, pictures, that kind of thing.”