Soil Conservation

Lands for Conservation

The Lands for Conservation program provides landowners with an incentive to get conservation structures constructed on the land during the growing season.

  1. The Lands for Conservation program will be on contractual basis between the landowner (cooperator) and the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District for one year while conservation practices are being established. Applications will be accepted beginning in January at your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office.
  2. Terraces with grassed waterways and terraces with tile outlets qualify for this program. Terraces and waterways must be seeded during the contract period.
  3. NRCS personnel will design terraces with waterways or tile drains. These practices must protect the entire field on which they are established. However, the area under contract will be the smallest practical area to encompass the practices, as agreed upon with the cooperator.
  4. Land in another program that idles crop production may not be included in Lands for Conservation contracts.
  5. Terraces with waterways or tile outlets may be cost-shared through the EQIP program administered by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  If these funds are not available or if the total cost is too high, cost-sharing assistance can be obtained through the LENRD's Conservation Cost-Share Program.
  6. Construction must be done between April 1 and September 15.  The field must be available for construction by August 1.  The field may be planted to cover or a crop preceding or after construction.  The crop or cover may be harvested or pastured during the contract period.  Payment is $100 per acre.
  7. Land under this contract must be farmed on the contour. If used for permanent pasture after the contract period, money received through this program must be returned. Land can be used for hayland as a normal part of the crop rotation.
  8. If ownership of land changes during the contract period, the contract becomes void. The new owner may continue the contract, if agreed to with the Lower Elkhorn NRD.
  9. The application period is January 1 through April 1. Approval of contracts will begin February 1 on a rotating basis.
  10. Land contracted must be part of an NRCS developed conservation plan for the entire farm and must require terraces to meet the permissible soil loss under the Nebraska Erosion and Sediment Control Act. A conservation system must also be carried out.
  11. The landowner will contract for the construction of terraces, waterways, tile outlets and any other necessary construction.
  12. Terraces, waterways and tile outlets must be maintained for 10 years or as long as the current owner has control of the land, whichever is less.              

For assistance in applying, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office.