Rice producers in 30 Arkansas counties in the Mid-South Graduated Water Stewardship Program Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project area have until June 28, 2019, to apply for funding through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

This special RCPP CSP sign-up is targeted for rice production acreage in Randolph, Clay, Lawrence, Greene, Independence, Craighead, Mississippi, Jackson, Poinsett, Cross, Crittenden, Woodruff, White, Faulkner, Conway, Pope, Saint Francis, Lee, Monroe, Prairie, Lonoke, Pulaski, Phillips, Arkansas, Jefferson, Lincoln, Desha, Drew, Ashley, and Chicot.

NRCS recently made several updates to CSP to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds and allow them to choose practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives.

The RCPP project aims to assist landowners and rice producers that voluntarily implement conservation and management practices that help to improve irrigation water management, control sediment and nutrient runoff, and provide waterfowl habitat on rice production lands.

NRCS operates under a continuous sign-up. Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted. For a complete list of CSP enhancements visit the Arkansas NRCS web site at www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov.