DENVER – The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Colorado recently announced an opportunity for producers to receive financial and technical assistance in a new pilot effort that will address water quantity resource concerns using the conservation planning process. Producers impacted by the drought are strongly encouraged to submit an application by Friday, July 19, 2013.
“This process will identify least-cost conservation alternatives for the producer to address water quantity needs, identify existing practices to address these needs, and when applicable, consider using a new interim practice that may be used to reestablish needed water holding capacity to structures,” said Randy Randall, Acting State Conservationist for Colorado NRCS.
The pilot will be funded through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for costs directly related to removal of accumulated sediment from a pond, provided sediment removal is the best and least cost alternative. Conservation practices, as they relate to structures approved for sediment removal, include: cover crops, critical area planting, fence, mulching, pipeline, prescribed grazing, and watering facility.
Applicants who do not qualify for funding through the Water Quantity and Drought Pilot may be eligible through alternate funding sources, including the Drought Recovery Initiative. Conservation practices must be implemented to NRCS standards and specifications. Socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers will receive a higher payment rate for eligible conservation practices applied.
EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts up to a maximum term of ten years in length. These contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.
Landowners interested in these voluntary programs should contact their local NRCS office to develop a conservation plan. More information about NRCS can be found by visiting the NRCS website at www.co.nrcs.usda.gov.