Soil & Water Conservation Program
The Lower Platte North NRD provides cost-share assistance to landowners for establishing a variety of conservation practices on their land. Up to 75% of the cost may be funded for high priority practices; in priority watersheds, the cost-share rate can be up to 90%. High priority practices include:
- Establishment of warm and cool season grass on cropland
- Construction of new terrace systems (including replacement of terrace systems 20 years old and older)
- Construction of sediment & water control basins when part of a new terrace system
- Construction of diversions when part of a new terrace system or dam
- Planned Grazing Management Systems (eligible practices include: cross fencing, livestock water dugouts, livestock well installation, pumping plants for livestock wells, livestock water tanks, and livestock water pipeline installation)
- Installation of tiled outlets into existing terraces
- Water impoundment dams and grade stabilization structures
- Irrigation Water Management (cost share for flow meters - does not include installation costs)
- Tree/Shrub Planting (only when NRD stock is planted by district staff ) for riparian buffer strips, field, acreage and farmstead windbreaks, and for wildlife habitat
- Windbreak Renovation
- Supplement of approved EQIP contracts in priority areas
- New grass waterways when part of an approved terrace system
- Replacement of grass waterways (if more than 10 years old and part of an approved terrace system; considered on a case-by-case basis)
- Waterways on 100% no-tilled fields
- Emergency repair of conservation practices
Funding for individual cost-share practices may come from the NRD, the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Program (NSWCP), the federal Environmental Quality Incentive Program, or other sources such as EPA 319 grant funds administered by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. Often, a landowner will receive funds from a combination of these sources.
Any landowner in the Lower Platte North NRD, whether an individual, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity, is eligible to apply for Soil and Water Conservation Program funds.
Cost-Share Rates & Limits
Each year, the NRCS determines a payment rate for the various conservation practices. This rate helps determine the cost for constructing a given conservation practice. The Soil and Water Conservation Program will reimburse landowners up to 75% of the established rate, or the actual cost of the work they have done, whichever is less.
For high priority practices, there is a limit of $12,500 per year per landowner.
Signup and Construction Periods
There are two primary construction periods for land treatment practices: Summer (June-August) and Fall (September-December). Applications can be submitted at any time of the year, but to ensure consideration for a specific construction period, the following signup deadlines should be observed:
- Summer Construction: Applications must be submitted by March 1.
- Fall Construction: Applications must be submitted by July 1.
How to Apply
Applications for the Soil and Water Conservation Program are available from local Natural Resources Conservation Offices. NRCS personnel can assist you with filling out the application.
Once an application is submitted to the NRD, it will be reviewed by the Project Committee and then taken before the full Board of Directors. Applications must be approved by the NRD Board before construction work can begin.