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News Release

USDA, Private Sector to Help South Dakota Producers Protect and Restore Soils

Colette Kessler, State Public Affairs Officer
Phone: (605) 220-1765

May 10, 2018

USDA, Private Sector to Help South Dakota Producers Protect and Restore Soils

New pilot project to increase services vital to ag production and soil quality


NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS), Huron, S.D., May 10, 2018–A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot project will add the expertise of private-sector technical service providers (TSP) to help farmers in South Dakota reduce two major causes of water erosion (sheet and rill), wind erosion, and improve soil health.

Producers of annually planted commodities in Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota will have the opportunity to hire TSPs who will work with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop Soil Resources Planning Conservation Activity Plans. These plans, known as CAP 132, will:

  • Reduce sheet and rill water erosion;
  • Reduce wind erosion;
  • Improve organic matter in soils; and
  • Provide economic information producers can use to make conservation decisions at the sub-field level.

“Bringing on TSPs who can leverage precision agriculture technologies and can supplement our soil conservation efforts will help more producers use economic information to make sound decisions to protect and regenerate their soils,” said Jeff Zimprich, State Conservationist, Huron, SD. “Empowering TSPs to take on these important tasks will also extend the focus on the customer service NRCS provides to ensure producers get the help they need to be productive and profitable.”

The NRCS is accepting applications for the pilot project. The deadline for applying is NRCS’ close of business on June 15, 2018.

Successful practices and methods developed through the pilot project may be adapted for use in other states and help inform future USDA conservation policies. The NRCS administers the project through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

The NRCS encourages everyone interested in finding out more about participating in the CAP 132 Pilot Program to contact their local NRCS office.

The NRCS encourages anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a TSP to contact Mark Larson,  SD TSP Coordinator, by email at or call (605) 352-1209.