Farm Conservation


What we do

We help organic and non-organic farms build healthy soil and provide healthy pastures for horses and other livestock. At the same time, our work helps improve habitat for beneficial pollinators and other wildlife, and conserves water.

We work with farmers to develop conservation plans for farms.

How we can help improve your farm or pasture practices and outcomes:

  • Improve soil quality and crop production
  • Add cover crops to planting rotations
  • Reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides
  • Manage mud to improve animal and pasture health
  • Reduce erosion and compaction
  • Improve pollination with a pollinator hedgerow
  • Decrease pests
  • Protect water quality for irrigation, livestock, and wildlife habitat
On this page:

    Cover crops

    Do you want to use less fertilizer? Plant cover crops. Use the power of nature to help you build heathy, robust soil. Feeding the soil with organic matter and nutrients from cover crops improves crop production and reduces the need for inputs over time.


    Find which cover crops are right for your farm.

    Manage mud and manure

    Livestock owners are responsible under state law to properly manage mud and manure so that it does not contaminate public waters. Manure contains high concentrations of bacteria, phosphates, and nitrates. When runoff from manure enters surface or ground water, it harms water quality and sends disease-carrying bacteria to people and livestock via irrigation and drinking water.  Furthermore, mud is both a nuisance and a health risk for livestock if they don't have a dry place to stand.


    Learn more: Farm Manure Management.

    Erosion and compaction

    Whether you are farming on a slope or flat ground, how you farm impacts on the soil. Contour farming, well designed farm roads, and proper livestock management help prevent erosion and compaction. Building healthy soils makes them resistant to erosion and compaction and resilient to climate change.



    Find out if you're in our service area.

    Farm Conservation Resources

    • Managing Cover Crops Profitably

      Managing Cover Crops Profitably explores how and why cover crops work, and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation. Publication by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

      View and download resource
    • Farm Manure Management

      Learn how to properly store and compost farm manure. 

      View and download resource
    • Tips on Land & Water Management for Small Acreages in Oregon

      Learn a variety of useful tips on managing land, including land and water conservation, weed management, soils, grazing management, irrigation, mud and manure, wetlands and wildlife habitat, and more. Publication by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

      View and download resource
    • Managing Small-acreage Horse Farms

      Learn how to have green pastures, clean water, and healthy horses. Publication by Oregon State University Extension Service.

      View and download resource
    • Conservation Directory

      Find products and services from local businesses that can help you get your conservation project done. This directory is maintained by East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and may not be a comprehensive list of providers. 

      Find resources for your conservation project.
    • Explore Dry Farming

      This publication provides an overview of dry farming, describes some of the management practices that support growing organic vegetable crops without supplemental irrigation in this region, and offers some additional resources. This page is by Oregon State University

      Intro to Dry Farming Organic Vegetables

    Staff contact

    Scott Gall

    Farm & Soil Conservationist

    Contact me about:

    Soil health; Farms and livestock; Equity and inclusion
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