NCRS Funding for Water Supply Development

Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor as Kyle and Ken discuss how NCRS has funding to help with water supply development for livestock operations.
(Kyle) Hi this is Kyle Bauer, I have the opportunity to visit with Ken Bowell. Ken is with NRCS and NRCS is a major part of the funding on water supply development for livestock operations. Ken, I’m gonna let you say what your title is and where you come into this mix. (Ken) I’m the Supervisory District Conversationist at Abilene and in this particular case we have done some…we have a program called the Environmental Quality Incentive Program that we’re assisting with some costs on developing this tire tank and solar pump. (Kyle) So how limited are those funds? In other words, how many different types of livestock watering situations can you help fund? (Ken) With this, the funds are annually brought out by USDA. So, they vary. The next cutoff date if you’re thinking of applying would be November 20th, so that’s coming up here. So, the funds are limited, so it’s a competition. Other types of watering facilities we can do, we can do besides the solar pumps, we could do I think wind mills. We can also do spring developments, if you have…are needing additional watering supplies to get better grazing in your pastures we could do, if you have the pump already and we could do a pipeline, a half mile pipeline, quarter mile pipeline to another tank to help your grazing distribution. (Kyle) And generally the thought process with government supported watering in pastures is to help change the grazing patterns and make the pasture more productive. (Ken) Yes, make it more productive and protect our resource, the grass resource that’s out there. So that’s basically what we’re working for. (Kyle) And I think a lot of people don’t understand it when there’s water in just a portion of a pasture, cattle will over graze in some areas and under graze in others, and that doesn’t use the resource completely. (Ken) That’s correct. And you can also put cross fencing in here and put water on both sides of that and help with the grazing distribution. (Kyle) So, when you’re looking at a competition between different people that have applied for it, what determines who’s going to win that? I assume it’s probably fairly complicated. But is it the first guy to apply or what determines if you get funded? (Ken) No, there’s a lot of factors. The location in the state, if there’s an endangered species, different things like that nearby. Also look at…if your grass is in good shape and there’s no need for the practice then we’re not going to do the practice. If we’re gonna cost share, or give you funding, then you are also going to have a grazing plan and follow the grazing plan. We’re not going to if the grass is not being properly grazed, we’re going to have it be properly grazed if we’re going to help. (Kyle) So, if a person is trying to get a cost share, do you get that before you start construction or after construction? (Ken) It would be after because we have the design and it has to meet our specifications. And then after it’s done then we will double check it and in the case of a tire tank, we’re going to measure how many gallons and pay per gallon. So until we have it in the ground and know how big the tank is, we don’t know what the cost share or what the payment rate will be. (Kyle) Visiting with Ken Bowell. We’re in Dickinson County today on an Extension Field Day.
(Jamie) Thanks again for joining us at K-State’s Extension Field Day in Dickinson County. I’m your host Jamie Bloom and I hope you enjoyed today’s show. See you next week on Farm Factor – we’re here every Tuesday on AGam in Kansas.

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