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NRCS announces Water Quantity and Drought Pilot opportunity in Kansas
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In response to the drought faced by Kansas producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing financial and technical assistance in a new Water Quantity and Drought Pilot funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) announced Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist. While NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis, NRCS will use two application cutoff dates for this pilot:  May 17 and June 21, 2013.
“NRCS will work with producers to address water quantity-related natural resource concerns using the conservation planning process,” Banks said. Under this new pilot, NRCS will conduct a site assessment with the producer, identify alternatives to meet the producer’s natural resource concerns, develop a conservation plan, and if priority criteria are met, EQIP funding may be available.  EQIP assistance may be provided for costs directly related to removal of accumulated sediment from a pond, provided sediment removal is the best and least cost alternative.  Ponds must have been originally constructed to NRCS standards and specifications.
Additional conservation practices, as they relate to structures approved for sediment removal, include:  cover crops, critical area planting, fence, mulching, pipeline, prescribed grazing, and watering facility.  “I would encourage producers who are impacted by the drought to visit their local NRCS field office to learn more about the assistance available,” Banks stated.  Applicants who do not qualify for funding through the Water Quantity and Drought Pilot may be eligible through alternate funding sources, including Drought Recovery Initiative.
EQIP offers financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land.  Conservation practices must be implemented to NRCS standards and specifications.  In Kansas, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers will receive a higher payment rate for eligible conservation practices applied.
For more information about NRCS and its programs, stop by your local USDA Service Center or go to the Web site  Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.