Conservation Assistance

State Programs

Water Resources Cost-Share Program

The Water Resources Cost-Share Program (WRCS) provides funds on a cost-sharing basis to assist landowners in the installation of enduring conservation practices.  These practices are in the public interest and contribute to the protection and enhancement of water resources.  Installation costs of these practices exceed financial benefits accruing to the landowners and generally will create undue financial burden on landowners if no public assistance is provided.

The Water Resources Cost-Share Program evolved from the Kansas 208 Water Quality Management Plan, adopted and approved by the 1979 Legislature.  The plan called for voluntary soil conservation measures and nutrient and pesticide management systems by land users for all agricultural areas of Kansas.

All structures cost-shared by the State are to be built to USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Office Technical Guide Standards and Specifications.  County average cost is used as a basis for determining the amount of cost-share assistance earned.

Funding for this program is done on a priority evaluation form, not first-come-first served.  The evaluation forms are established and reviewed by the district board.

The following is a list of practices that can be cost-shared upon using this program.

  • Contour Buffer Strip 
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Diversion
  • Filter Strip
  • Fencing
  • Grade Stabilization Structure
  • Grassed Waterway or Outlet
  • Irrigation System, Trickle
  • Mulching-Weed barrier
  • Pasture and Hayland Planting
  • Range Planting
  • Terrace and Tile Outlets
  • Windbreak Establishment
  • Pipeline-Livestock
  • Pond
  • Spring Development
  • Trough or Tank
  • Well-Livestock
  • Terrace Restoration

Wetland Riparian Protection Program

Wetland and riparian areas are important components of the state’s ecological, social, and economic assets. They provide ecological values in supplying habitat for plants and animals, social values in providing open spaces that support outdoor recreation and natural aesthetics, and important economic values in controlling floods, filtering pollutants, controlling erosion and protecting surface, woodland areas and groundwater supplies.

Osborne County has over 1500 miles of streams in the county. The riparian areas vary in size throughout the county and are extensively used by livestock for calving and winter protection. In order to protect these valuable natural resources, the district developed a voluntary wetland riparian protection program, which is funded from the State Water Plan, for landowners who wish to protect, enhance or restore wetland and riparian areas in the county.

For more information on this program contact the district.

Non-Point Source Pollution Control Program (NPSCP)

The Non-Point Source Pollution Control Program (NPSCP) is a comprehensive voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance for restoring and protecting surface and groundwater quality through the installation of pollution control measures/structures and through information and educational assistance.

The program is funded by the Special Revenue Fund, which is a dedicated source of funding developed out of the State Water Plan to address many natural resource concerns in the state of Kansas.

The district along with local citizens developed a local Non-Point Source Pollution Management Plan, which defined and prioritized problems within the county. It also addresses strategically planned and coordinated implementation of practices to protect and restore water quality.  The plan was approved by the board on September 25, 1995. 

Funding for this program is done on a priority evaluation form, not first-come-first served.  The evaluation forms are established and reviewed by the district board.

The district provides cost-share funds at a rate of 70% of the county average cost up to the landowner maxium which varies depending the practice from $500 for well plugging to $3000 for a septic systems.

  • Abandoned Water Well Plugging
  • On-Site Waste water System (septic system)
  • Unpermitted Dump Site Remediation
  • Livestock Waste Management Systems
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Sediment Basin
  • Diversion
  • Pond
  • Pond Sealing or Lining
  • Feedlot Windbreak
  • Fencing
  • Filter Strip
  • Grade Stabilization Structure
  • Grassed Waterway
  • Irrigation System-Trickle
  • Mulching
  • Pasture & Hayland Planting
  • Pipeline
  • Access Road
  • Spring Development
  • Nutrient Management
  • Trough, Tank, Waterer
  • Underground Outlet
  • Livestock Well

USDA Federal Programs

Conservation Reserve Program

The Conservation Reserve Program reduces soil erosion, protects the Nation’s ability to produce food and fiber, reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality, establishes wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources. It encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetation cover, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filter strips, or riparian buffers. Farmers receive an annual rental payment for the term of the multi-year contract. Cost sharing is provided to establish the vegetative cover practices.

The CRP program is funded from the Federal commodity Credit Corporation to enroll erodible and other environmentally sensitive land in contracts for 10 years. In exchange, landowners and/or operators receive annual rental payments and a payment for up to 50% of the cost of establishing approved practices. Maximum CRP payments will be determined based on county average dryland cash or cash rent equivalent rental rates adjusted for site-specific, soil based productivity factors. CRP payments can include an additional amount, not to exceed $5 per acre per year, as an incentive to perform certain maintenance obligations. This program is administered through the Farm Service Agency Office.

Sign up dates are announced throughout the year. You may contact the NRCS office for more information (785) 346-2324.

Continuous Conservation Reserve Program

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program is funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation. It provides technical, educational, and financial assistance to eligible farmers and ranchers to address soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on their lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. The program provides assistance to farmers and ranchers in complying with Federal, State and tribal environmental laws, and encourages environmental enhancement.

The purposes of the program are achieved through the implementation of a conservation plan, which includes structural, vegetative, and land management practices on eligible land. Five to ten year contracts are made with eligible producers. Cost-share payments may be made to implement one or more eligible structural or vegetative practices, such as animal waste management facilities, terraces, filter strips, tree planting, and permanent wildlife habitat. Incentive payments can be made to implement one or more land management practices, such as nutrient management, pest management, and grazing land management.

Fifty percent of the funding available for the program will be targeted at natural resource concerns relating to livestock production.

NRCS Technical Assistance

USDA NRCS Technical Assistance to provide land users to solve natural resource problems in rural, suburban and urban settings. There is no charge for NRCS Technical assistance. Technical assistance includes agricultural conservation planning, watershed-based assistance, conservation engineering assistance for conservation structures, stake out and design, etc.

Conservation Technical Assistance

The purpose of the program is to assist land-users, communities, units of state and local government, and other Federal agencies in planning and implementing conservation systems. The purpose of the conservation systems are to reduce erosion, improve soil and water quality, improve and conserve wetlands, enhance fish and wildlife habitat, improve air quality, improve pasture and range condition, reduce upstream flooding, and improve woodlands.

Objectives of the program are to:

Assist individual landusers, communities, conservation districts, and other units of State and local government and Federal agencies to meet their goals for resource stewardship and assist individuals to comply with State and local requirements. NRCS assistance to individuals is provided through conservation districts in accordance with the memorandum of understanding signed by the Secretary of Agriculture, the governor of the state, and the conservation district. Assistance is provided to land users voluntarily applying conservation and to those who must comply with local or State laws and regulations.

Assist agricultural producers to comply with the highly erodible land (HEL) and wetland (Swampbuster) provisions of the 1985 Food Security Act as amended by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 3801 et. seq.) and the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 and wetlands requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. NRCS makes HEL and wetland determinations and helps land users develop and implement conservation plans to comply with the law.

Provide technical assistance to participants in USDA cost-share and conservation incentive programs. (Assistance is funded on a reimbursable basis form the CCC.)

Collect, analyze, interpret, display, and disseminate information about the condition and trends of the Nation’s soil and other natural resources so that people can make good decisions about resource use and about public policies for resource conservation.

Develop effective science-based technologies for natural resource assessment, management, and conservation.