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News Release

USDA Announces Project to Protect Natural Resources In the Mississippi River Basin

Sign Up Deadline, April 19, 2013,  for Lower Arkansas (Upper)  project in portions of Jefferson, Lonoke and Pulaski counties

Little Rock, Ark., March 18, 2013 – Farmers and landowners in portions of Jefferson, Lonoke and Pulaski counties in Arkansas have until April 19, 2013, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation practices through the Lower Arkansas (Upper) Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI) project.  The ranking process will be completed by May 17, 2013.

Under MRBI, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide technical and financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the project.

The goal of the project, sponsored by the Bayou Meto Water Management District, is to reduce the nutrient loss from agricultural land through improved nutrient use efficiency and reduced runoff from agricultural fields.

The focus of the conservation efforts will be utilization of conservation practices to reduce nutrient runoff and improve irrigation water management.  There are several approved conservation practices to address the resource concerns such as:  conservation cover, cover crops, nutrient management, irrigation water management, residue management, structure for water control, and filter strips.

A complete list of approved practices, information about the project, and the project area map is available at www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/mrbi.html.

For more information, contact one of the following NRCS Field Service Centers:  Jefferson County, (870) 534-3200, ext. 3; Lonoke County, (501) 676-5116, ext. 3; and Pulaski County, (501) 758-2544, ext. 3.