USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White announced the agency will fund conservation projects in 41 eligible watersheds in 12 states.
The funds are designed to help landowners and producers within the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation and management practices that prevent, control and trap nutrient runoff from agricultural land.
“NRCS is working hard to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin,” said White.
“This funding will help producers further implement a system of conservation practices that will reduce erosion, improve water and soil quality, and provide wildlife habitat.”
Weakley County has received nearly $40,000 in MRBI funding to assist local landowners with controlling and trapping nutrient runoff. Participating farmers and landowners voluntarily implement conservation practices that improve wildlife habitat; restore wetlands; and maintain agricultural productivity.
These conservation practices are carried out in a site-specific manner to create a system that addresses natural resource concerns and fits within the operational needs of the farm.
Under the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), NRCS will provide up to $43 million in financial assistance through conservation programs to support more than 70 existing projects in the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Tennessee will receive a total of $529,000 for projects in the Forked Deer, South Fork Obion, Obion, and Red River watersheds.
Local poultry producer Darwin Koehn recently participated in the MRBI program.
NRCS assisted Koehn with building a Waste Storage Facility.
A waste storage facility provides temporary storage of waste, protects surface and ground water, and provides a safe environment for storing and handling manure.
The watersheds that are within the MRBI qualifications in Weakley Co. are the South Fork Obion and the Obion. Land owners who operate within those watersheds may be eligible to participate in the program. NRCS is now taking applications for 2012.
Come in to your local NRCS office and sign up.
The Weakly County Field Office is located at 196 Hunt St. in Dresden.
For more information, contact the local USDA/NRCS field office at 364-5430, ext. 3 or go to the NRCS-Tennessee website at http://www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov/.