CHAMPAIGN -- State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announced the U. S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer special funding to improve habitat for migratory water fowl in Central Illinois. Funds are made possible using the Mississippi River Basin Critical Conservation Area portion of NRCS’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS has partnered with the University of Illinois (U of I) to help producers improve natural resource concerns, namely migratory wildlife habitat and water quality. Producers can apply for this assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to plan and install drainage water management and cover crop practices.
The primary focus of this project is to install drainage water management practices which allow producers to deliberately manage water that normally leaves their farm freely through tile drainage systems. By working with NRCS and the U of I, landowners can manage tile and groundwater more efficiently and create temporary habitat for migratory water fowl like the American Golden Plover. Drainage water management practices can be installed on new or existing field tile drainage systems located throughout central Illinois. EQIP financial assistance can help cover costs for materials and installation.
NRCS RCPP funding will be available to producers with land located in the following counties: Christian, Macon, Shelby, Piatt, Moultrie, Champaign, Douglas, Coles, Cumberland, Vermilion, Edgar and Clark. To take advantage of this conservation funding opportunity, interested producers should submit an application by the cutoff dates of Jan. 19 and March 16. NRCS reminds producers they can apply for regular EQIP financial assistance at any time throughout the year as NRCS accepts applications on a continuous basis.
To apply, eligible producers should contact their local NRCS field office or visit the Illinois NRCS website at www.il.nrcs.usda.gov.