USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Alabama Ben Malone announced that the agency is providing funding to help landowners improve soil health by enhancing current conservation efforts through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project. This RCPP project will be funded through the Agency’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
A collaborative effort between NRCS and the Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee, this RCPP-CSP project will involve the assistance of local soil and water conservation districts to implement the program. Eligible landowners in Colbert, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone and Madison Counties are encouraged to apply by March 6, 2018.
Through RCPP-CSP, agricultural producers earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. The program also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.
Some of these benefits include:
- Improved cattle gains per acre
- Increased crop yields
- Decreased inputs
- Wildlife population improvements
- Better resilience to weather extremes
“This project will encourage landowners to enhance soil health on their land by expanding their conservation efforts. We hope that in the next two to three years, they will notice the undeniable benefits of their commitment to conservation,” said State Conservationist Ben Malone.
Alabama landowners who are interested in applying for funding should contact their local USDA service center or read the Alabama RCPP-Soil Health Project fact sheet to learn more.