LITTLE ROCK — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest more than $15.5 million this fiscal year to help agricultural producers improve water quality in Arkansas.

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is continuing two of its successful landscape-level water quality efforts, the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) and National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).

“We have learned that when we partner with producers to deliver conservation practices to critical watersheds, we see a positive impact,” said NRCS State Conservationist in Arkansas Mike Sullivan. “Through these partnerships, we maximize the delivery of our conservation efforts which yields greater results to water quality and benefits the public, our natural resources and farmers’ bottom lines.”

Arkansas has 14 MRBI projects and three NWQI projects that will be receiving financial assistance dollars in fiscal year 2022. NRCS accepts program applications on a continuous basis but sets dates to batch and rank applications as funding allows. Farmers and landowners in Arkansas who submit applications to their local NRCS office by Dec, 17, 2021, will be considered for this round of funding. Applications received after Dec. 17, 2021, will be considered in later funding periods, subject to funding availability.

Arkansas’s project areas are:

MRBI

Cache – Portions of Woodruff, Jackson and Cross counties

Middle Cache – Portions of Jackson, Woodruff, Poinsett and Craighead counties

Lower St. Francis – Portions Crittenden, Cross and St. Francis counties

Upper Lower St. Francis – Portions of Clay and Greene counties

Cardron Creek Brewer Lake – Portions of Conway and Faulkner counties

Candy Creek – Portions of Cross, St Francis, and Woordruff counties

Canal 43 – Portions of Desha and Chicot counties

Twin Creeks – Portions of Cross and Woodruff counties

Izard Lower Strawberry – Portions of Izard and Sharp counties

County Line Strawberry – Portions of Lawrence and Sharp counties

Flat Hills – Portions of Poinsett and Cross counties

Glade-Raft-White Oak Creek – Portions of White and Prairie counties

Lee County – Portion of Lee county

Lower White-Bayou Des Arc – Portion of Prairie county

NWQI

Departee Creek – Portions of Independence, Jackson and White counties

Greasy Creek-Strawberry River – Portion of Fulton County

Brush Creek-Roberts Creek – Portions of Washington and Madison counties

NRCS has strengthened focus on watershed assessment and partner engagement in priority small watersheds in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Partners are encouraged to work with Arkansas NRCS for new project area interests.

All applications will be evaluated for funding based on local, state and nationally developed criteria to optimize environmental benefits. Applications ranking highest in a funding category will be funded according to priority and is subject to availability of program funds.

For more information, visit http://www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/ or contact the local your local USDA Service Center.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with NRCS or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment.

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