An additional 26,000 acres was added to the eligible area for local farmers to receive financial assistance installing conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips, terraces, no-till and other erosion control practices.
State Conservationist Craig Derickson announced that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the National Water Quality Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to improve water quality in two impaired watersheds - Bazile Creek in Antelope, Pierce and Knox counties and Wahoo Creek in Saunders County.
"This is the third year these watersheds were selected to participate in this program. Also, the Bazile Creek watershed eligibility area was expanded by over 26,000 acres to the south and west of Creighton," Derickson said. "This means even more landowners will have the opportunity to participate in this program."
The deadline to apply is April 1.
The targeted watersheds were identified with help from state agencies, partners, and the USDA State Technical Committee. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is working with the local Natural Resources Districts in these watersheds through the Nonpoint Source Water Quality Grants-Section 319 Program. Including these watersheds in the National Water Quality Initiative will strengthen the overall effort to improve water quality in impaired streams in Nebraska.
“Through this effort, eligible producers in the selected watersheds will invest in voluntary conservation practices to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities," Derickson said.
NRCS will provide funding and expertise to farmers and ranchers interested in installing conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips, terraces, no-till and other erosion control practices to improve water quality. NRCS staff will work with individual landowners to develop a conservation plan to apply practices that work best for their farming operation in each particular watershed.
Interested landowners and operators should check with the local NRCS office to see if their farm or ranch is located in one of the targeted watersheds. Additional information about the National Water Quality Initiative, and detailed maps of the sign up areas, are available HERE.