Indianapolis, January 29, 2018 – Jill Reinhart, Acting State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced today they are still accepting applications to improve water quality in the Big Pine watershed located in portions of Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe counties.
Dollars are still available for farmers through the Big Pine Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). RCPP is a partner-led program, with NRCS directing technical and financial assistance to priorities identified by partners. Partners involved in Indiana’s Big Pine watershed include The Nature Conservancy, Ceres Solutions LLC, Land O’Lakes, Winfield United, Conservation Technology Information Center, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and NRCS.
The partners are working with farmers in this targeted area to increase the number of nutrient and sediment reducing practices on cropland. While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, March 16 will be the second cutoff date this year to be considered for funding.
“This project is a great example of public, private and non-profit organizations working together to solve local problems,” said Reinhart. “The group is addressing critical resource issues in the Big Pine watershed such as water quality, soil erosion and at-risk habitat that can have a big impact on the community.”
RCPP funding comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program to help farmers adopt conservation practices that improve water quality within the watershed. Conservation practices reduce the amount of nutrients flowing from farm fields into waterways, curb erosion and improve the resiliency of agricultural lands during times of extreme weather. This project is focusing on conservation practices like planting cover crops and nutrient management as well as implementing CSP enhancements which help to boost the effectiveness of a single practice.
“We are working together to focus on practices that will build soil health and productivity in the Big Pine watershed and also tell the story of the effects of those practices on the environment in a way that is meaningful to farmers,” said Reinhart.
All applications for this round of funding consideration must be received by March 16, 2017.