It’s tough to keep soil in fighting form in southern Oklahoma, but the Arbuckle Conservation District has a program that’s meant to help.
The district’s cost-share assistance program helps agricultural producers preserve and maintain soil and water in the region by writing a conservation plan for their land, suggesting structural changes helping them cover the costs of implementing them.  
Ponds, grade stabilization structures, water wells, critical area planting and grass planting are all practices that can help maintain soil. Adding ponds and water wells can help areas weather drought, while planting grass helps soil withstand erosion.
Randy Tate, engineering aide at Arbuckle Conservation District, said in the Carter County area, erosion is a constant concern.
“With the floods and stuff we’ve had, that’s a real problem,” Tate said. “Sandy loam soils are fragile and clay-type soils tend to not have grass.”
Tate said a few years ago, most people’s biggest concern was the deep drought that hung over the region.
“Since the drought is over, now we’re looking at overgrazed grasses,” Tate said.
The program is meant to cover 75 percent of construction costs up to a maximum of $2,500 and a minimum of $100. After someone signs up, a representative of the conservation district will visit their land and help them create a conservation plan.
“We’ll come out and identify
issues they might not know about,” Tate said. “Then we’ll write a plan to fix it.”
Tate said large agriculture producers in the area make use of the program, but landowners with smaller plots don’t always take advantage of it. Owners must have at least 20 acres of land to qualify.
“We’ve had an influx of smaller landowners in the area,” Tate said.