Rice farmers in nine Missouri counties can sign up until June 28 for financial assistance to enhance conservation on their land. J.R. Flores, State Conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), said the assistance is available through a partnership agreement with USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited.
The “Mid-South Graduated Water Stewardship” project, funded through NRCS’ Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), assists landowners and rice farmers who voluntarily implement conservation and management practices that provide waterfowl habitat on rice production lands. Although enhancements are limited, irrigation efficiencies and practices that address water quality and water quantity priorities are also a focus during this sign-up.
“CSP provides tremendous support to Missouri farmers, ranchers, and landowners interested in addressing natural resource problems on their land,” Flores said. “Voluntary conservation efforts through CSP improve the quality of natural resources while also making a significant difference in the lives of Missouri’s farming and ranching families.”
This special CSP sign-up is targeted for rice production acreage in Bollinger, Butler, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Ripley, Scott, and Stoddard counties. Landowners in those counties can apply for assistance or get more information by contacting NRCS, which has offices in local USDA Service Centers.
“This is another great opportunity for rice producers in Missouri to participate in a working lands conservation program. This sign-up would not be possible without the support of our partners and the collaboration with NRCS, and we’re excited to continually grow the Rice Stewardship Partnership’s program offerings,” said Josh Hankins, USA Rice Director of Grower Relations and Rice Stewardship Partnership.