Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today they are still accepting applications to improve water quality in the Big Pine watershed located in northwest Indiana.
Dollars are still available for farmers through the Big Pine Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The watershed which includes portions of Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe counties and the partnership is working with farmers in the area to increase the number of nutrient and sediment reducing practices on cropland. While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, June 21 will be the second cutoff date this year to be considered for funding for this partnership project.
RCPP is a partner-led program, with NRCS directing technical and financial assistance to priorities identified by partners. Partners involved in Indiana’s Big Pine watershed include The Nature Conservancy, Ceres Solutions Cooperative, Land O’Lakes, Winfield United, Conservation Technology Information Center, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and NRCS. The group has also engaged agronomy retailers to further conservation efforts in the area.
“This project is a great example of public, private and non-profit organizations working together to solve local problems,” said Raynor. “The group is addressing critical issues in the Big Pine watershed such as water quality, soil quality and at-risk habitat by leveraging partner resources.”
RCPP funding comes from EQIP to help farmers adopt conservation practices that improve water quality within the watershed. Conservation practices reduce the amount of nutrients flowing from farm fields into waterways, curb erosion and improve the resiliency of agricultural lands during times of extreme weather. This RCPP project is focusing on soil health practices like planting cover crops and nutrient management.
“This project greatly expands the use of conservation practices that build soil health in the Big Pine watershed and will help us document the effect of those practices in a way that is meaningful to producers and managers,” said Raynor.
All applications for this round of funding consideration must be received by June 21, 2019.
To learn more about RCPP in Indiana, visit: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/in/programs/farmbill/rcpp/STELPRDB1248173/.
For more information about NRCS and other technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or contact your District Conservationist https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/in/contact/local/.