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Conservation Corner

Macon County Upper Sangamon River Watershed Project

Mon, March 11, 2019

U. S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will offers funding in Macon County for the Upper Sangamon River Watershed project through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). 


NRCS partners with Macon County Soil and Water Conservation District to help producers address resource concerns, such as degraded water quality and soil erosion. Producers can apply for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to implement practices such as drainage water management, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, cover crops, nutrient management, and no-till. The project focus is to improve water quality in Macon County’s portion of the Upper Sangamon River Watershed.


NRCS RCPP funding is available to Macon County producers whose land is located in the Upper Sangamon River Watershed. To take advantage of the conservation funding opportunity, interested producers should submit applications by application cutoff dates of April 19 and May 17, 2019. However, producers are encouraged to submit applications at any time to the NRCS Decatur Field Office because applications are accepted throughout the year.


To apply, eligible producers should contact the NRCS Decatur Field Office at 3342 President Howard Brown Blvd, Decatur, Illinois 62521. Phone: 217-877-5670 ext. 3.

 

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NRCS Special EQIP Initiatives

Mon, March 11, 2019

U. S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of Illinois will offer funding for the following Landscape Conservation Initiatives throughout the state: the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) and the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI). Producers who have agricultural, pasture, or forest land in an established initiative project area can apply for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Using this program, they can implement a range of conservation practices that will improve water quality, decrease soil erosion, and improve wildlife habitat.


To compete for funds in the initiative project areas, producers must complete and submit an application by one of two cutoff dates, April 19 and May 17, 2019.  NRCS encourages producers to apply for EQIP financial assistance at any time throughout the year, as they accept applications on a continuous basis.


Contact your local NRCS field office to obtain more details about a specific initiative and to see if your land or farm is located in one of the project areas. To learn more about NRCS programs and services in Illinois, visit NRCS online at www.il.nrcs.usda.gov.


The following is a list of Initiative projects and the counties/watersheds where 2019 funding is available:


MRBI—Mississippi River Basin Initiative


Clinton Lake – Includes portions of DeWitt, McLean and Piatt Counties
Crow Creek West/Clear Creek – Includes portions of Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam and Stark Counties
Upper Macoupin Creek – Includes portions of Macoupin County
Vermilion Headwaters – Includes portions of Ford, Iroquois, Livingston and McLean Counties


NWQI - National Water Quality Initiative_


Douglas Creek Watershed – Includes portions of St. Clair County
Crooked Creek-Bon Pas Watershed – Includes portions of Richland, Wabash, Edwards, and Lawrence Counties
Lake Vermilion Watershed – Includes portions of Vermilion County
Lake De Revey Watershed – Includes portions of Vermilion County
Painter Creek Watershed – Includes portions of Vermilion County
Lake Bloomington – Money Creek Watershed – Includes portions of McLean County
Blue Mound – Money Creek Watershed – Includes portions of McLean County

 

 

 

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EQIP application deadlines announced

Mon, March 11, 2019

Look to the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for conservation assistance on agricultural and forestland. NRCS has a long history of conservation planning with agricultural producers and forestry managers. We have the technical knowledge to develop a conservation plan for your resource concerns and NRCS has conservation programs to help you implement that plan.


The primary financial assistance program is the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural and forestland producers. To participate, producers can apply for EQIP throughout the year; however, Illinois NRCS has established two application deadlines for April 19, 2019 and May 17, 2019.  NRCS encourages producers to submit applications by one of the deadlines if they are interested in the program.


Hundreds of Illinois producers have successfully used EQIP to address natural resource issues on their farm. Some EQIP activities include installing structures to address gully erosion, improving pastureland diversity using interseeding techniques, and improving soil health by increasing organic matter with cover crops. A special Illinois funding pool also targets monarch butterflies by creating or improving monarch habitat with stands of milkweed and nectar plants.


These conservation practices can be completed through NRCS EQIP funding pools, such as grazing land operations, confined livestock operations, organic, monarch butterfly, and wildlife habitat, just to name a few. In addition to conservation practices, EQIP funds plan development, such as Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs), Grazing Plans, Drainage Water Management Plans, and more.


Producers interested in EQIP should submit a signed application (NRCS-CPA-1200 form) to the local NRCS field office. Applications submitted by April 19, 2019 and May 17, 2019 will be evaluated by NRCS staff for the funding period submitted.


Applicants must meet program eligibility requirements to participate in EQIP. Local NRCS field office staff will work with applicants to determine eligibility and answer ranking questions. If an application is ranked high enough to be funded, NRCS staff will work with each applicant to develop a contract.


EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available for agricultural producers and forestry producers. Through EQIP, NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices. For more information on EQIP, contact your local NRCS field office or visit


www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/il/programs/financial/eqip/

 

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