Two funding sources available to assist producers with flow meter costs

All irrigation wells in the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) will need a district approved flow meter installed by January 1, 2018.  The LENRD has secured two grants to assist landowners with the expense of this requirement.

1)  RCPP:  The LENRD received one of 6 Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) grants in Nebraska to fund producers’ irrigation water management projects.  The RCPP is administered by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The RCPP grant, under the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), includes incentive payments for the installation of irrigation flow meters, irrigation water management, and nutrient management.  The RCPP grant is for producers who want to utilize more technology in their Irrigation Water Management (IWM).  In addition, the LENRD will offer incentive payments of $250 per flow meter to producers who are approved for the EQIP/RCPP funding.

Landowners must apply at their local NRCS office prior to October 21, 2016, and be approved for EQIP/RCPP funding prior to purchase and installation of the flow meter.

2)  WSF:  The LENRD has also received a grant from Nebraska’s Water Sustainability Fund (WSF), administered by the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission, to assist landowners with the purchase of flow meters.

With the WSF grant, the LENRD will pay producers $500 per flow meter.  All producers who have installed flow meters on or after November 25th, 2015, or producers who have yet to install their flow meters, can now apply for the $500 incentive payments until the funds run out.  Application for the flow meter cost-share can be completed by visiting your local NRCS office or the LENRD office in Norfolk.

LENRD water resources manager, Brian Bruckner, said, “These incentives are available for producers on a first-come, first-served basis.  There is enough grant money to cost-share on 3,000 of the estimated 4,500 meters left to install.  Therefore, it’s very important that producers apply at their local NRCS office or the LENRD office as soon as possible.”