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Food Security Initiative

Counties: Crook, Deschutes, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Sherman, Wasco   

Primary Resource Concern Addressed: 

  • Soil quality limitations - Organic matter depletion 
  • Source water depletion - Inefficient irrigation water use
  • Degraded plant condition - Plant productivity and health 

Project Description
The goal of this Conservation Implementation Strategy (CIS) is to increase the availability of fresh, locally produced food within the High Desert and Deschutes Basins. To achieve this goal, this CIS aims to increase the sustainability and resiliency of agricultural operations that contribute directly to local food systems by improving soil health, reducing plant degradation through season extension practices, and increasing irrigation efficiencies in support of these efforts on farms and ranches with direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing strategies.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • Irrigation Pipeline (430)  
  • Pumping Plant (533)  
  • High Tunnel System (325)  
  • Conservation Cover (327)  
  • Conservation Crop Rotation (328)  
  • Cover Crop (340)  
  • Irrigation System, Microirrigation (441)  
  • Mulching (484)  
  • Prescribed Grazing (528)  
  • Soil Carbon Amendment (808)  
  • Critical Area Planting (342)  
  • Fence (382)  
  • Irrigation Water Management (449)  
  • Pasture and Hay Planting (512)  
  • Nutrient Management (590)  
  • Watering Facility (614)  
  • Livestock Pipeline (516)  
  • Sprinkler System (442)  
  • Herbaceous Weed Treatment (315)  
  • Obstruction Removal (500)  
  • Heavy Use Area Protection (561)
  • Low Tunnel Systems (821) 
  • Structure for Water Control (587) 
  • Managing Above Ground Crop Systems For Urban Ag (812) 
  • Conservation Activities Soil Health Testing (216) 

Project Partners

  • Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Harney Soil and Water Conservation District
  • High Desert Food and Farm Alliance
  • Gorge Grown Food Network
  • BizHarney
  • High Desert Partnership
  • NRCS Oregon
  • Private landowners

Application Questions
NRCS uses prioritization questions to evaluate applications for this initiative. See the list of workload prioritization questions on the Oregon EQIP page. Ranking questions below will also apply.

 Ranking Questions

  1. Will all the conservation plan practices improve the Farm or Ranch production of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat or dairy to local markets within the boundary of the CIS?

  2. Does the EQIP schedule of operations include a High or Low Tunnel that will extend the growing season for fresh fruits and vegetables?

  3. Does the EQIP schedule of operations address plant productivity  through implementation of a Grazing Management Plan or Pasture Planting?

  4. Does the EQIP schedule of operations include Cover Crop, Soil Carbon Amendment, or Mulching that will address and improve Soil Organic Matter?

  5. Does the EQIP schedule of operations include practices that will increase irrigation efficiency? Efficiency ratings are determined using the Irrigation Water Savings Estimator.

  6. Does the EQIP schedule of operations include Soil Testing?