COLUMBUS, Ohio — USDA is awarding $197 million for 41 locally led conservation projects through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). RCPP is a partner-driven program that leverages partner resources to advance innovative projects that address climate change, enhance water quality, and address other critical challenges on agricultural land. Applications for RCPP are taken on a continuous basis, however, interested landowners are encouraged to contact their local NRCS service center prior to the Nov. 14, 2022 signup deadline to be considered for funding in the current cycle.
Through RCPP, NRCS provides financial and technical resources to producers and landowner to improve their operations, commodity production and environmental benefits. Projects in Ohio include:
Rocky Fork RCPP: Highland Soil and Water Conservation District and five local, state and federal partners are working with producers and landowners to protect water quality, reduce soil erosion, and provide habitat for at-risk species in the Rocky Fork Watershed. The partnership will help producers implement cover crops, field borders, and filter strips to reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff, helping alleviate algal blooms in Rocky Fork Lake.
Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Collaboration: Indiana, Michigan and Ohio have joined forces with over 30 partners, including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Farm Bureau, and the Ohio State University to help participating farmers improve soil health and reduce nutrient loading impacts in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The partnership will use sophisticated targeting tools to work with producers and landowners operating near the Maumee headwaters, an area identified as a source of high levels of excess phosphorus, with technical and financial assistance opportunities.
Spotted Knapweed for Ohio Producers led by Morgan Soil and Water Conservation District: The goal of this partnership is to build on a larger effort to address spotted knapweed in the Morgan, Muskingum, Nobel and Guernsey counties. The partnership continues to address the persistent weed that affects livestock in the area. This RCPP project includes an expansion of their partnership efforts and has broadened applying treatment to road and municipal-held property.
As part of each project, partners offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding in an amount equal to or greater than the NRCS investment.
To apply for RCPP, contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center. Find your local Service Center at www.farmers.gov/service-locator.
Visit Ohio NRCS website under “EQIP Funding Categories” for more details. Applications received after the ranking date will be considered during the next funding cycle. Funding is provided through a competitive process. To learn more about RCPP or other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or contact your local USDA Service Center.
— USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service