Ryan Flaming: Conservation district taking applications

Ryan Flaming

Applications for state financial assistance to install enduring conservation practices on agricultural land are being accepted at the Harvey County Conservation District.

The conservation district administers state cost-share programs locally to improve water quality and reduce soil erosion. Funding is provided by the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Conservation, through appropriation from the Kansas Water Plan Fund.

Landowners with natural resource concerns on their property are encouraged to visit the HCCD to discuss the possibility of receiving state financial assistance. Funding is provided through cost-share payments to landowners for eligible practices such as terraces, grassed waterways, field windbreaks, grass plantings, livestock water supplies, cross fencing, abandoned well plugging and new this year, is cost share assistance for cover crops. The signup does not guarantee approval of cost-share financial assistance. Projects started or completed prior to being approved for funding are not eligible for these funds.

Each request is reviewed to ensure eligibility. The proposed project is ranked according to a system developed by Harvey County Conservation District. The ranking system ensures fairness to landowners and ensures cost-share funds are used to meet local conservation priorities. Landowners approved for the program are notified of the practice(s) approved and the estimated amount of cost-share that will be provided. Before the work can begin the contract is approved by the DOC and must be signed by the landowner(s).

The conservation district works closely with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to protect and conserve natural resources, primarily soil and water. Conservation practices funded with state cost-share funds must be installed and maintained according to NRCS and DOC specifications. It is necessary that landowners work closely with NRCS in the planning stage to ensure practices are applied correctly. Technical assistance for these practices is provided free of charge by the USDA.

For more information concerning state cost-programs and other available services, please contact the Harvey County Conservation District, 316-282-3460.

— Ryan Flaming is a Kansas State Research and Extension agent for Harvey County. Agriculture is his specialty.