NRCS Seeks Illinois River Watershed Ag Producer Applications for Financial, Technical AssistanceTue, 14 Feb 2012 16:04:05 CST
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Oklahoma announced that $1.3million is available to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices, as part of the Illinois River Watershed Initiative (IRWI). The IRWI was established to improve water quality while maintaining the agricultural food and fiber production on private lands within the initiative area. NRCS has approved a number of conservation practices, which are recognized methods of avoiding, trapping and controlling pollutants, for use in the initiative. By implementing this set of core conservation practices, producers can help to reduce nutrients, bacteria, and sediments that might have entered the watershed.
The IRWI is available to producers in portions of Adair, Delaware, Cherokee, Mayes, and Sequoyah Counties. Applications for this initiative are accepted on a continuous basis. However, to be considered for funding in 2012, applications must be received by March 3, 2012. Interested producers may request additional information by contacting their local NRCS field Office or by clicking here to visit the IRWI website.
The IRWI is one of 15 Landscape Conservation Initiatives that address resource concerns of national importance by helping America’s landowners implement voluntary conservation practices to protect water quality, improve wildlife habitat and enhance the long-term sustainability of producers’ operations.
“Through landscape initiative partnerships we’re maximizing conservation efforts to address some of our most pressing natural resource challenges,” NRCS Chief Dave White said. “The result is far-reaching and long-lasting environmental benefits for the Nation.”
In coordination with local, state and federal agencies and organizations, NRCS’ Landscape Conservation Initiatives use a systems approach that focuses technical and financial assistance to implement a suite of conservation practices to address specific resource concerns. Through the IRWI, farmers and ranchers are incorporating conservation practices, to improve water quality, into their agricultural operations.
Conservation assistance is available to producers through several 2008 Farm Bill conservation programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Producers interested in becoming a part of the IRWI or any other NRCS programs and services, should contact their local USDA Service Center, or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov for more information.
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