Agricultural Water Quality Program

2020 Deer Creek and South Yamhill River Strategic Implementation Area (SIA)

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has designated this area in the Yamhill basin for their five-year focus on improving water quality. The program focuses on voluntary compliance and the SWCD provides technical assistance to the landowners/operator at no charge. There are various cost share programs available through the district and through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

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The Agricultural Water Quality Plan

Mulching is a cheap and simple erosion prevention practice. Covering bare ground with mulch helps to protect the soil from rain impact.

The Agricultural Water Quality Plan sets guidelines for minimizing pollution from agricultural sources into creeks and rivers. The plan was developed in cooperation with Oregon Department of Agriculture, Yamhill and Polk County SWCDs, and a local advisory committee of local land owners.

Yamhill Agricultural Water Quality Management Area Plan

The intent of the plan is to:

  • Enhance water quality, addressing state and federal standards
  • Encourage voluntary conservation efforts by landowners
  • Conduct education programs to inform operators of water quality issues and conservation solutions
  • Allow farmers and rural landowners the flexibility to choose appropriate methods to meet water quality goals
  • Provide enforcement provisions for landowners, operators, or occupiers who aren’t in compliance with water quality standards

At the District; we work with rural landowners to prevent erosion of sediment and nutrients (chemicals, manure, etc) into our streams and rivers as well as re-establishing riparian buffers through promoting Best Management Practices (BMPs).  We strive to work with landowners and operators to reduce their impact on water quality that benefit both landowners and the land. Because the District is a non-regulatory organization with no enforcement authority, working with the District is voluntary.


What Can I Do to Improve Water Quality?

BMPs are tailored to fit your property, management plans, and land use goals to ensure the best solution to improve water quality.  All BMPs (such as buffer strips, cover cropping, and manure storage) vary in maintenance, cost of implementation, and physical requirements.  The District provides free site visits to discuss recommended BMPs and technical assistance to implement. If you have questions or concerns please contact Jordan Anderson at 503-437-5747 or by email.

Why in Palmer Creek?

The Palmer Creek Watershed is predominantly in agricultural production and is divided into two parts; main stem and west branch.  The main stem is 303(d) listed for dissolved oxygen and the west branch is 303(d) listed for temperature, dissolved oxygen and Chlorpyrifos.  The area consists of a fairly large irrigation district and the flow of this system, especially in the summer, is largely controlled and pumped in from the Willamette.

What does this mean?

We have been working to increase outreach efforts in this area on reducing erosion and promoting streamside buffers and increase the number of on the ground projects implemented in this area.

Additional Resources:

Here are some fact sheets on practices and techniques that can be implemented in agricultural situations in order to minimize erosion and nutrient run off into streams and creeks.

Streamside Prevention and Control Measures Fact Sheet

Waste Prevention and Control Measures Fact Sheet

Roadways and Right of Ways Prevention and Control Measures Fact Sheet

Erosion Prevention and Control Measures Fact Sheet

Irrigation Prevention and Control Measures Fact Sheet