NRCS brief

Farmers and ranchers interested in preventing erosion, improving soil health, conserving water and wildlife, or making any other natural resource conservation improvements to their property are encouraged to apply for funding available from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) before Nov. 20.

There are several options available to producers, Nebraska state conservationist Craig Derickson said.

“NRCS has a whole suite of conservation programs available to farmers and ranchers looking for assistance in improving and protecting the natural resources on their ag land. These programs provide funding on cropland and rangeland, as well as for animal feeding operations and establishing or enhancing wildlife habitat and wetlands,” he said. “NRCS staff can help landowners and operators identify their options.”

The most widely applied conservation programs in Nebraska are the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

The goal of these conservation programs is to provide a financial incentive to encourage landowners to install conservation practices that protect natural resources, resulting in cleaner air and water, healthy soil and more wildlife habitat.

“Participation in our conservation programs are totally voluntary. We offer assistance that can help make farming and ranching operations more sustainable while conserving the natural resources like soil and water on which all Nebraskans depend, “ Derickson said.

Individuals interested in applying for conservation funds may do so at any time, but the ranking of applications will begin Nov. 20. The first step is to visit your local NRCS field office and complete an application. Find out more at www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.