Conservation Cost Share Programs
The Clay County Conservation District offers both technical and financial assistance for natural resource conservation. Technical assistance takes the form of planning and design services, while financial assistance for construction or implementation of conservation practices can be provided through a variety of cost sharing programs.
Conservation planning should begin with a comprehensive review of the producer’s goals and the capability and resource concerns of the land. The District facilitates a farm assessment and planning program from the Kansas Rural Center that can help the producer identify concerns and develop strategies for improvement. This wholistic approach ensures that new conservation practices and structures will help meet the farm’s overall goals for soil condition, water quality, pasture, and rangeland health, forest land health, and wildlife habitat.
The following cost sharing programs are offered by the Conservation District through the Kansas State Conservation Commission:
Water Resources Program
Water Resources Program focuses on practices that reduce soil erosion, including structural improvements like terraces, waterways, and grade stabilization structures on cropland. Cost sharing is also available for non-structural practices such as grass seeding and windbreak establishment. Pastures and rangeland can be improved with cost sharing for cross fencing or water supply development, including ponds, spring development, and wells.
Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Program
NPS Pollution Program targets water quality improvement and provides funding for household wastewater systems, plugging abandoned water wells, and livestock waste systems.
In addition to state cost sharing, financial assistance is available through several federal agricultural programs. The following are three USDA programs that are widely used in Clay County.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
CRP provides cost sharing and annual rental payments for converting cropland to a permanent vegetative cover, usually native grasses. CRP enrollment occurs during specified sign-up periods, although some high priority CRP practices can be enrolled in the program at any time. These priority practices include filter strips and riparian forest buffers along streams, and wildlife buffers along field borders.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
EQIP offers cost sharing and incentive payments for a wide range of practices including adoption of nutrient and pest management and no-till crop production, brush control and grazing management practices in rangeland, stream bank stabilization and many others. Wildlife Habitat Incentives Practices assists with installation of food plots, grass and shrub plantings, and other wildlife habitat practices.
Other agencies and organizations provide financial assistance as well, and cost sharing may be available for additional practices that are not listed above. Developing a conservation plan with the help of Conservation District or Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel will identify the best sources of assistance for the implementation of conservation practices.