Palouse-Rock Lake Conservation District

Phone: +1.5096483680      Address: 3 N. Park Street, St. john WA 99171    


  • Landowners/Agricultural Producers located within the Palouse River Watershed
    • Check geographic eligibility here 
  • Existing buffers can qualify if they meet the outlined requirements

The Commodity Buffer Program is funded through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) with Palouse Conservation District. Check out their Flyer for more information and FAQs


  • ​Can assist producer toward Farmed Smart Certification eligibility 
  • Can help provide regulatory certainty
  • Can be grazed or hayed (with appropriate planning requirements)
  • Less ground to work and operate
  • Reduces suspended and associated contaminates (ie. nutrients, pesticides, and bio-solids) in runoff to improve water quality


  • Producer must install and maintain required buffer size according to the type of waterway, tillage practice, and associated Soil Tillage Intensity Rating (STIR)
  • Producer must maintain the selected practice for a minimum of three years
  • Practices can be a filter strip (grass only, or grass/forb mix) or a native riparian forest (grasses, trees, and shrubs)
  • Commodity buffers cannot be burned
  • Haying and mowing must occur after July 1st
  • ​See table below to estimate size requirements

Commodity Buffer Program

A Commodity Buffer is a strip of perennial vegetation established at the edge of any waterway; stream, river, creek, ditch, spring, wet area, drainage, or shoreline.

They are used to: 

  • Capture sediment and filter nutrients, pesticides, and animal waste from agricultural runoff
  • Help prevent further erosion from the waterway
  • Provide wildlife habitat and establish wildlife corridors

Unlike any other buffer program in the nation, a commodity buffer compensates a producer for the true value of the ground.

Interested in implementing or enrolling a commodity buffer in our district? 


  • Minimum payment of $200/acre per year on eligible acres
  • Compensation rate is valued at or above adjacent crop rotations (based on USDA Risk Management Agencies projected crop prices)
  • Rates will change annually, to adjust for fluctuations in higher market values
  • Total payment amounts will depend on buffer size, adjacent tillage practices, and the type of buffer (existing or implementing)

Contact:    Kailee McKinney

                Resource Conservationist


                (509) 648-3680 ext. 109

The table below shows examples of payments made in 2019 based on yield, farming practices, and USDA RMA projected crop prices.