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Indiana NRCS Accepting Applications to Improve Water Quality in Big Pine Watershed
Indiana Ag Connection - 11/09/2023

Curtis Knueven, acting state conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Indiana announced today that applications are being accepted to improve water quality in the Big Pine Creek watershed located in northwest Indiana.

Dollars are available for farmers through the Big Pine Creek Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The Big Pine Creek watershed covers almost 210,000 acres in northwestern Indiana including portions of Benton, White, Warren and Tippecanoe counties. The partnership is working with farmers in the area to increase the number of nutrient and sediment reducing practices on cropland.

While applications are accepted year-round, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by Dec. 8 to be considered for the current funding period. Applications received after Dec. 8 will automatically be considered during the next funding cycle.

The Big Pine Creek RCPP is focusing its conservation efforts on soil health practices such as planting cover crops and nutrient management, which included managing the amount, source, placement and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments. Conservation practices like these reduce the amount of nutrients lost from farm fields into waterways, curbs erosion and improve the resiliency of agricultural lands during times of extreme weather.

“The Big Pine Creek RCPP project enables NRCS to invest targeted dollars to address water quality concerns caused by nutrient and sediment runoff from farms in the watershed,” Knueven said. “We know conservation practices such as nutrient management plans, cover crops and transitioning to no-till farming can address these issues. By working together with our partners through this project we will be able to help farmers implement these practices and more in order to help them help the land.”

RCPP is a partner-led program, with NRCS directing technical and financial assistance to priorities identified by partners. Led by The Nature Conservancy, additional partners involved in Indiana’s Big Pine Creek watershed project include Ceres Solutions, Land O’ Lakes Truterra, Benton, Warren, Tippecanoe, and White County Soil and Water Conservation Districts and NRCS.


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