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News Release

Red River - Kentucky NRCS




New Water Quality Improvement Project in Kentucky

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Christy Morgan, PAS
859-224-7363
christy.morgan@ky.usda.gov

Lexington, KY, June 22, 2012.  U. S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that $8.4 million in financial assistance is available to support 23 new partnership projects in several Mississippi River Basin states under USDA's Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI). These projects will help fund producer activities that will avoid, control and trap sediment and nutrient runoff from agricultural lands, improving water quality throughout their operations.

One of the 23 projects funded is in the Red River Watershed in Kentucky and will provide up to $500,000 to assist in conservation planning and practice implementation.  USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) manages the initiative and the sponsor for the Kentucky project is the Kentucky Division of Conservation.

The project area is comprised of nine small watersheds within the larger Red River Watershed and encompasses parts of Logan, Todd and Simpson Counties.  Utilizing funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), contracts will be entered with individual land users in the selected watersheds to help apply conservation practices such as cover crops, residue and tillage management, and field borders.  Conservation planning for the development of comprehensive nutrient management plans is also available through this effort.  Additionally, the Kentucky Division of Conservation is making available additional funding up to $500,000 in state cost-share for precision nutrient management and other related conservation practices.

NRCS State Conservationist Karen Woodrich said, "The conservation practices applied in these watersheds improve water quality by filtering surface and ground water and by trapping sediments that would otherwise pollute waters downstream."  She added, "Kentucky landusers that participate in this initiative are making a positive impact on water quality far beyond the state border."

Steve Coleman, Director of the Kentucky Division of Conservation said, "This continues to demonstrate the great partnership of federal, state, local and private groups working together to assist landowners with good stewardship practices that protect our natural resources, improve water quality, and keep our farm operations productive."

The projects are funded through NRCS's Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI), which engages local partners to help provide outreach and technical assistance to agricultural producers. CCPI funds both new and existing projects each year. currently has three existing MRBI CCPI projects across the state which were approved in 2010.  They are located in the Licking River in Eastern Kentucky, Lower Green River in Northwestern Kentucky, and Bayou de Chienâ€�Mayfield Creek in Southwestern Kentucky.  The newest project in the Red River Watershed will provide opportunities for landusers to install practices that will reduce the nutrient loads and sedimentation that is causing water quality issues in the watershed.

To find out if your farm is located within the new project area, contact your local NRCS or Conservation District office.  To learn more about MRBI visit http://www.ky.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/2012MRBI/index.html

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