NRCS Improves Impaired Watersheds in Minnesota
Contact: Julie MacSwain
ST PAUL, MN, May 6, 2013— State Conservationist Don Baloun today announced additional funding for an initiative to improve water quality in selected watersheds in Minnesota.
NRCS will make $1,151,972.00 in assistance available this year to help farmers, ranchers and forestland owners install conservation practices that manage nutrients, pathogens and sediments. Funding comes through the agency’s National Water Quality Initiative.
Eligible producers will receive assistance for installing conservation systems that may include practices such as nutrient management, cover crops, conservation cropping systems, filter strips, terraces, and in some cases, edge-of-field water quality monitoring.
“The Water Quality Initiative will further NRCS’ partnership efforts to improve water quality using voluntary actions on private lands,” Baloun said. “This initiative is a focused approach in areas facing significant natural resource challenges. It bolsters the positive results of landscape conservation initiatives NRCS and its partners already have underway.”
NRCS worked closely with partners to select the priority watersheds. State agencies, key partners and technical experts chose three watersheds, where on-farm conservation investments have the best chance to improve water quality.
Through this water quality initiative, NRCS is also piloting its new Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff. The tool will help landowners determine how alternative conservation systems they are considering will impact water quality improvement. Additionally, state water quality agencies and other partners will do in-stream and watershed-level monitoring to track water quality improvements in many of the project watersheds.
NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year. All applications for funding consideration during this fiscal year must be received by the following dates: May 17, 2013; June 21, 2013; and July 12, 2013.
For more information about NRCS’ programs, initiatives and services in Minnesota, visit us online at http://www.mn.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/frpp/frpp.html
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USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps America’s farmers and ranchers conserve the Nation’s soil, water, air and other natural resources. All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and the environment.
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