The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided a wide range of programs and services to enable Nebraska landowners to implement conservation practices and management activities in 2013.
According to NRCS State Conservationist Craig Derickson, these programs and services are providing Nebraska landowners with technical and financial resources to help them protect and improve soil, water and air quality, as well as wildlife habitat.
“In Fiscal Year 2013,” Derickson said, “landowners continued to use a wide range of conservation programs and services to get more conservation on the ground.”
Derickson said that thanks to the continued utilization of key conservation programs made possible through the 2008 Farm Bill, as well as NRCS’s conservation technical assistance (CTA), land owners improved irrigation efficiency on 44,697 acres of land and improved soil quality on 37,314 acres.
In total, over $90 million was allocated in financial assistance to install conservation practices for Nebraska producers.
In addition, he said NRCS in Nebraska provided over 1,900 conservation contracts in fiscal year 2013, on over 1.5 million acres to local landowners and producers.
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers received close to $30 million in financial assistance, including $4.6 million committed to improving irrigation efficiency through the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative.
“To help restore aging and drought-damaged windbreaks, NRCS provided $80,000 through the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative,” Derickson said.
Additionally, the NRCS provided $3.7 million for wetland restoration through the Wetland Reserve Program.