Farmers and landowners in the approved watershed for portions of Jefferson, Lonoke and Pulaski counties in Arkansas have until Jan. 17 to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation practices through the Lower Arkansas (Upper) Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative project. Second sign-up application selections will be made by March 14.

Under the project, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide technical and financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program for the project.

"The goal of the project, sponsored by the Bayou Meto Water Management District, is to reduce the nutrient loss from agricultural land through improved nutrient use efficiency and reduced runoff from agricultural fields, said Reginald L. Jackson, State Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The focus of the conservation efforts will be utilization of conservation practices to reduce nutrient runoff and improve irrigation water management. There are several approved conservation practices to address the resource concerns such as: conservation cover, cover crops, nutrient management, irrigation water management, residue management, structure for water control, and filter strips.

A complete list of approved practices, information about the project, and the project area map is available at

For more information, contact one of the following Field Service Centers: Lonoke County, 676-5116, ext. 3; and Pulaski County, 758-2544, ext. 3.

The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by: Undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining and managing existing conservation activities.

— Greg Rayburn