Last winter, a vegetable producer near Rich Hill, Mo., contacted the Bates County USDA field office for assistance with a pond project. The producer's goal was to transform an unproductive, seeping, swampy area into a pond that could be used to water livestock and, potentially, to irrigate vegetables for market.
The producer spoke with Chuck Lewis, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Conservation Technician and set a time to visit the site. Lewis and Dean Borland, also a Soil Conservation Technician for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, walked the site with the producer, probed for rock and discussed the geology. xx Lewis said the landowner was well prepared for the meeting: he had soil surveys and was very familiar with the soil types, and had already dug several holes.
Borland said their task was to take the normal NRCS recommendations, which called for large machinery, and adapt them for horsedrawn machinery and manpower. Lewis added that all the rock on the site would have presented a challenge even for a bulldozer.
Respecting the producer's request to not have NRCS initiate contact, Lewis and Borland have not been back to the property to see the completed project.
For more information about NRCS technical services available at no cost, stop in, write or call your local NRCS field office, or ask your local Extension agronomist to personally introduce you to the NRCS staff.
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REVISED: December 1, 2015