The University of Missouri was awarded $84,000 in grant money to fund projects that will help crop producers conserve resources and maximize their production.
The grants given by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s state office will fund two major projects that involve soil health and an application that will help farmers with irrigation. A $49,049 grant was awarded to the soil health project and a $34,953 grant was awarded to help develop more features for the university’s crop water use application. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program authorizes these funds.
Dwaine Gelnar, state resource conservationist at the Natural Resources Conservation Service, would like to see more information on animal grazing’s impact on soil health.
“What we’re hoping to see out of that project is some good, sound information that can be passed along to the producer so that they can better plan for impacting their soil health,” Gelnar said.
Gelnar also sees the application project helping out producers around the area.
“What we’re interested in is conserving water. What this app we believe will do is assist producers to use their irrigation water more wisely. Conserve more of it. Use it at the proper times when the crop actually needs it,” he said.
According to Gelnar, irrigation is not needed in a lot of cases but producers are trying to maximize profits. He believes this application will be able to reduce the amount of resources wasted by creating a notification system that will tell the producers when the crops need to be irrigated through a mobile application.
Gelnar is hopeful that these grants will benefit producers with information and cutting edge technology.
“I think these two grants will help us in a lot of ways. I am very optimistic,” he said.