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News Release

NRCS to Help Alabama Farmers Measure Conservation Impacts on Water Quality

Shannon Weaver

​Release No.: 000024.18

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AUBURN, June 19, 2018 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Ben Malone announced funding is available to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as it leaves their fields, providing data to evaluate the success of various conservation efforts. The funding is available to farmers located across 18 key watersheds in Alabama and is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to measure the effectiveness of a wide range of conservation initiatives.  

“Testing the quality of water as it leaves a field helps farmers and USDA understand which conservation practices work best at preventing sediment and nutrient runoff. Verifiable data gives us and farmers information needed to make targeted conservation investments to improve water quality for everyone,” said State Conservationist, Ben Malone.

EOF Monitoring MapThrough this effort, 18 watersheds are eligible for edge-of-field monitoring in Alabama. The watersheds include: Cross Creek, Coppers Rock Creek, Knokes Creek, Whippoorwill Creek-Shoal Creek, Middle Short Creek, Huckleberry Creek, Lower Scarham Creek, Upper Short Creek, Upper High Pine Creek, Upper Scarham Creek, Bear Creek-Little Tallapoosa River, Lost Creek, Rice Branch-Shoal Creek, Cohabadiah Creek, Clearwater Creek, Turner Creek-Halls Creek and Lower Short Creek.

Financial assistance is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to install and maintain the monitoring systems for up to nine years, giving time to measure the impact of conservation systems on water quality under different conditions. 

The program was launched in 2013 and has led to the installation of stations on private lands in nine states including Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. Farmers are already using edge-of-field monitoring data to adjust their strategies to improve the quality of water, soil and other natural resources within their operations. In the longer term, data collected from many sources will help producers make the most informed conservation investments possible and document how edge-of-field monitoring of conservation work benefits the public and communities.

The deadline to apply for funding is July 20, 2018. For more information, visit the Edge-of-Field Monitoring webpage and your local USDA Service Center.


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