Cost Share Policy: All applications MUST BE APPROVED before starting your project. All producers applying for cost share through the CPNRD must be in compliance with rules and regulations of the NRD’s programs. Videos on best management practices.
USDA Providing Funds to Protect and Restore Agricultural Working Lands, Grasslands & Wetlands across Nebraska
Applications due Dec. 31 at USDA NRCS Offices
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). This program, created under the 2014 Farm Bill, provides funding for the purchase of conservation easements to help productive farm and ranch lands remain in agriculture and to restore and protect critical wetlands and grasslands.
Nebraska state conservationist Craig Derickson said, “Conservation easements are a good tool to ensure natural resources are conserved and protected for all Nebraskans. We encourage Indian tribes, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and private landowners to contact their local NRCS office to find out how to apply.”
The main goal of ACEP is to prevent productive agriculture land from being converted to non-agricultural uses and restore and protect wetlands and wildlife habitat. Cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland are eligible. Applications can be submitted at any time, but to be considered for 2017 funding opportunities, applications in Nebraska must be received by December 31. Applications are currently being accepted for both agricultural land and wetland reserve easements.
NRCS provides technical and financial assistance directly to private and tribal landowners to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of conservation easements. Eligible landowners can choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. Tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling in 30-year contracts. A key option under the agricultural land easement component is the “grasslands of special environmental significance” that will protect high-quality grasslands under threat of conversion to cropping, urban development and other non-grazing uses.
All applications will be rated according to the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. Eligible applicants will be compensated with a payment rate comparable to the local land use value. Applicants will need to provide accurate records of ownership and ensure they have established current year ownership eligibility with USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Application information is available at your local USDA Service Center and at www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.
“NRCS staff will work with all interested applicants to help them through the application process and provide one-on-one assistance to create the conservation easement option that works best for their farming or ranching operation,” Derickson said. For more information about the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the programs and services it provides, visit your local USDA Service Center or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.
Click the Cost Share Booklet link above for cost share program descriptions and applications for the Nebraska Soil & Water Conservation Program and the Central Platte NRD.
|Nebraska Soil & Water Conservation Program||$20,000||Pages 6-12: List of Practices through NSWCP (federal funds)|
|Trees & Weed Barrier||$19,000||Pages 46-49: Tree/Weed Barrier Program
Pages 50: Tree Order Form
Page 51-52: Weed Barrier Order Form
Pages 56-57: NE Resale/Exempt Sale Certificate
|Center Pivot Incentive||$45,000||Pages 16-17: Program
Page 33: Application
|Streambank Stabilization||$10,000||Page 14: Program
Page 64: Application
|Well Decommissioning||$13,000||Page 15: Program
Page 37: Application
|Urban Forestry||$5,000||Page 20: Program
Page 21: Application
|Phragmites Control||$5,000||Page 62: Program
Page 63: Application
|Prescribed Fire||$7,000||Page 22: Program
Page 35: Application
|Cover Crop||$4,000||Page 68: Application
Page 69: Program
|Soil Moisture Sensors||$0||Page 65: Application
Page 66: Program
Page 67: Compliance Form
|Grazing Deferment||$47,000||Page 71: Program
Page 72: Application
|Grassland Conservation||$2,000||Page 73: Application
Page 74: Program
|Ultra Sonic Flow Reading||$14,000||Page 75: Program
Page 76: Application
Funds are also available in the following federally funded programs: Buffer Strips, WILD Nebraska, and Corners for Wildlife (center pivots only, funded by Pheasants Forever.) For a complete list of other federally funded programs available, contact your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).