An additional $1 million has been directed to Conservation Districts across Kansas to support practices that will reduce erosion, promote water conservation, and mitigate the effects of the ongoing drought. This is in addition to the $3.5 million distributed each year for similar conservation efforts.
According to Governor Laura Kelly’s Office, this additional funding comes as the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that the wheat harvest will be 122 million bushels short of Kansas’ 330-million-bushel average.
“The drought we have experienced has absolutely starved our wheat harvest at a time when Kansas farmers – and the world – cannot afford it,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “My administration will continue to make the necessary investments to protect the water resources that fuel our agriculture industry – the bedrock of our state’s economy.”
Funding is provided by the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Conservation (KDA–DOC) through an appropriation from the State Water Plan Fund. The program is administered by Conservation Districts across the state.
“The state continues to seek funding for conservation efforts that can maximize water resources and help make agricultural practices for farmers and ranchers more efficient and sustainable,” Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam said.
Landowners and producers with natural resource concerns on their property are encouraged to visit their local Conservation District office to discuss the possibility of receiving state financial assistance. The additional funding is available to landowners and producers interested in eligible water resource practices such as irrigation water management, nutrient management, planting cover crops, livestock water supplies, cross fencing, and abandoned well plugging.
Please contact your local conservation district office for application assistance and more information concerning state cost-share programs and other available services. A directory of Conservation Districts can be found at agriculture.ks.gov/ConservationDistricts.
In addition to helping with conservation efforts, the Department of Agriculture reminds Kansas farmers, ranchers, and their families that help is available for ag-related stress. The lower-than-expected yield can be overwhelming for mental health. Those resources can be found at KansasAgStress.org.