July 10, 2020
The Milford Lake Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is a financial assistance program to help improve water quality conditions in the Milford Lake Watershed through implementation of nutrient management conservation practices. Applications for this project are now being accepted on a continuous basis.
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have been an issue in Milford Lake for many years. To help improve nutrient management, producers are encouraged to take advantage of the continued funding opportunity and help reduce nutrient loss and loading of Milford Lake from runoff experienced during heavy precipitation events within the watershed. The Milford Lake Watershed RCPP includes portions of Jewell, Republic, Washington, Mitchell, Cloud, Clay, Riley, Dickinson and Geary Counties.
During previous sign up periods, RCPP contracts were written in Clay, Cloud, Jewell, Republic and Washington counties covering thousands of acres with conservation practices while allocating over half of the Farm Bill financial assistance available to producers through this program. Project funding is available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and non-federal project partners to implement practices such as: nutrient management; residue management; or cover crops to address water quality concerns with the goal to reduce the nutrient loading in the Milford watershed (map below) by 31,000 pounds of phosphorus annually.
Producers considering any of these practices should visit their local USDA Service Center/ County Conservation District office. RCPP program participants have found these resources to help improve their bottom line while maximizing the benefit of their conservation dollars. EQIP can provide a significant funding source for implementing new practices with project “core” practices being eligible for higher payment rates through RCPP partner contributions. Program payment rates can fluctuate on an annual basis so producers are encouraged to take advantage current higher payment rates while the opportunity exists. Program payment rates are available on the Kansas NRCS website or producers can contact their local NRCS office for more information.
Interested individuals can visit MilfordWatershed.org for additional background information on Milford Lake, past HABs, general information about the RCPP as well as all the partners working to improve watershed.