Brad Soncksen, the agency’s assistant state conservationist for programs, says EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) dollars can be used to install farming practices that control ephemeral gullies. Those are small ditches that stem from concentrated flow on fields.
Soncksen says, “We are able to use some of our funding that we get through EQIP to assist those producers who want to install practices such as waterways or even use some cover crops or no-till contour farming, buffer strips and those kind of practices.”
Interested producers should apply at their county NRCS office as the apps go through a ranking process to determine which projects get funded.
“We set aside $150,000 for the state for this and once we get applications in, we’ll assess that and see if there’s a possibility to add more,” Soncksen says. “We want to help as many producers as we can.”
Soncksen says the goal is to get the upgrades or repairs in place within a year once a project is green-lighted.
“Once they are approved for a contract, we have up to ten years to install the practice, however for the purpose of compliance, if they are having an issue with emphemeral gullies, we would encourage them to install the practice right away.”
The application deadline is July 21st. Learn more at the NRCS website.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton