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News Release

Prairie Pothole Region Receives Four Million in Water Bank Funds

Contact:  Andrew Thomason, Public Affairs Specialist | Phone: (605) 570-2625

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS), Huron, S.D., April 6, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) NRCS has been granted four million dollars toward landowner enrollment in the Water Bank Program (WBP).

These funds are designated within the Prairie Pothole Region of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota (SD). The purpose for WBP is to target preserving and improving contributing major habitat for migratory waterfowl and other wildlife, flood control, conserving surface waters, reducing soil and wind erosion, improving water quality, improving subsurface moisture, and enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape.

Eligible landowners may receive a per acre payment:  $50 on cropland, $35 for pastureland including non-cropped wetlands, and $20 for forestland. All contracts are nonrenewable,10-year rental agreements based on high, medium, and low priority rankings for each land use:  cropland at high; pasture, hayland, and rangeland at medium; and forestland rated low.

Landowners impacted with flooding on cropland, pastureland, hayland, rangeland, forestland, and other lands are encouraged to apply. The open enrollment period runs from April 2, 2021, to May 14, 2021. 

For more information on WBP, contact your local SD NRCS office. All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with NRCS, Farm Service Agency, or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will continue to work with our producers by phone, e-mail, and using online tools. More information can be found at