Natural Resource Enhancement Funding Applications End November

CLARKSVILLE, TN – The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing funding for innovative partner-led projects aimed at improving water quality, wildlife habitat and soil health in three Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) areas in Tennessee. To be considered for program funding, applicants must operate land within the respective RCPP project catchment area. Funding requests for fiscal year 2023 must be received by November 18.

“The Regional Conservation Partnership Program leverages local knowledge and networks to fuel conservation projects, bringing together a wide variety of new partners, including businesses, universities, nonprofits and governments. locals,” said Tennessee NRCS State Ecologist Sheldon Hightower. Currently, NRCS staff are working with customers by phone, mail and online communications, and field work continues with appropriate social distancing to help growers plan for conservation and secure financial assistance. through Farm Bill programs.

“As we take the necessary precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we will continue to provide personalized and personalized service to growers to help them achieve their conservation and business goals,” Hightower said. Funding is available through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program and Agricultural Conservation Easements Program – Wetland Reserve Easement, under the RCPP’s Farm Bill program.

RCPP projects funded for FY2023 include:

Advanced precision agriculture for sustainable conservation: An RCPP project that encompasses the Cumberland River Basin in Tennessee and Kentucky, which spans nearly 18,000 square miles and is home to nearly 2.5 million people. This project will take place in the Red River and Lower Cumberland watersheds, two of the 14 watersheds that make up the Cumberland River watershed. NRCS, in partnership with Nutrien, will work with growers to improve water quality by maximizing fertilizer uptake, preventing sediment and nutrient loss, using science-based precision farming practices and implementing nutrient-dense structural practices. The goal is to advance the implementation of on-farm precision agriculture practices to help ensure the sustainability, resilience and continued productivity of the region’s working lands while simultaneously improving the producer’s bottom line. .

Reverse the decline of grassland biodiversity: The Tennessee NRCS is working to assist the American Bird Conservancy and its partners with a multi-faceted conservation program that will complement existing efforts to reverse the decline of grassland habitats in the southeastern United States, especially close to protected landscapes.The project aims to restore populations of grassland bird species deemed in need of conservation attention by Partners in Flight, as well as native biodiversity associated with historic grassland landscapes in the Interior Uplands Ecoregion of Tennessee and Kentucky. . Conservation efforts will include removing tree cover and prescribed fires, converting cropland or pasture from fescue to native grasses, increasing herbaceous to grass ratios, altering grazing intensities, and altering diets. of haymaking.

Upper Clinch-Powell Watershed Partnership: Tennessee NRCS is working to help The Nature Conservancy in a two-state partnership to improve water quality and aquatic habitat in Virginia and Tennessee. The partnership will work to implement best management practices in the targeted Clinch-Powell watersheds of Lee, Russell, and Scott counties in Virginia and Claiborne and Hancock counties in Tennessee. The high concentration of rare aquatic biodiversity in the Clinch-Powell River System makes it a national treasure. Agriculture is the dominant land use in the Clinch-Powell watershed and therefore addressing the impacts of agriculture on water quality is one of the key conservation needs in the region. Best management practices include stream restoration, alternative watering system, livestock exclusion, treatment of high use areas, treatment of critical areas, wetland restoration and enhancement and other conservation practices.

Online services are available for customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the portal where producers can view USDA agricultural loan information and payments and view and track certain applications and payments of the USDA program. Customers who do not yet have an eAuth account can sign up at For questions about NRCS programs, growers should contact their local USDA Service Center.

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