On-Farm Assessments for Energy,Water and Soil Conservation Available through NRCS
As the New Year starts, it is time for many for many of us to take an inventory of what we need to do to reach our goals. For most of us, this inventory will include the efficient operation of our farms and the long term impacts of we have on the land we plan to pass on to others. I can think of no better way to do this than to take advantage of several programs offered by the USDA NRCS office to formally survey your farming operation for issues like energy usage, water usage, and land management. NRCS funds are available to have a Technical Service Provider, such as Bruce Everly, do an on-farm assessment and document how your farm operates related to these 3 areas. When appropriate, there are funds available to help you reach your goals in energy, land and water “practices” (as the NRCS calls them.)
For energy usage, the result of the USDA funded assessment (known as “Practice 122”) will normally be identifying ways to reduce your diesel, propane or electric bills. When good ideas were documented last year, over 90% of the time the USDA provided up to $50,000 to help study and rectify problems. Typical projects funded are new grain driers, conversion of diesel to electric motors for irrigation systems, upgrades to work shops or animal housing.
For water usage, the USDA will fund a survey (known as Practice 118) to study how your existing irrigation system works and how a future irrigation system might help. Projects that typically receive funding are for building ponds, establishment of wells and running pipe. Standards are tough but funding levels often exceed 75% of the project’s costs.
For more information, please call Bruce or Janet at
CSP Program Sign-up Ends January 17th!
Contact your local NRCS office ASAP to sign up for this valuable program if you have not already done so! It is a Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) that offers rental or incentive payments for good practices, such as cover crops to reduce erosion.