Hendricks County Soil & Water Conservation District Announces Environmental Programs

The Hendricks County Soil & Water Conservation District is calling for applications to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program for the coming year. The cost-share program focuses on protecting local natural resources.

Soil erosion caused by water and wind is targeted. Excessive nutrients in surface and ground water following harvest also are a challenge facing the district.

Post-harvest ground cover crops, which uptake those unused nutrients, address these two priorities, as does no-till field work. Both practices stabilize soil.

Some farmers unnecessarily work up their fields, contributing to soil erosion and compaction. Compaction hinders water from percolating into the earth and can contribute to ponding, flooding and soil erosion.

Organic matter depletion ranks high on the SWCD list. No-till and cover crop practices counter the problem. Many modern crop production practices complement each other.

Excessive sediment in creeks and streams also will be addressed. Again, no-till and ground cover crops lessen this water quality problem.

EQIP programs also team with producers on greenhouse gas emissions, pesticide run-off, plant productivity and health, wildlife habitat protection and unwanted plant pressures (common weeds and invasive plants).

Contact the SWCD office, 195 Meadow Dr., Danville, or call District Conservationist Jerod Chew, (317) 745-2555, ext. 3. Program assistance sign-ups are on a first-come basis, with application deadlines, eligibility requirements and fund availability restrictions.

The EQIP application deadline is Dec. 15. Lesser known EQIP opportunities include the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Initiative, Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative and the National Organic Initiative.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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