Tribune staff reports
Jackson County landowners will soon have access to financial assistance to develop more conservation practices to improve water quality.
The funds are a part of a $75,000 Clean Water Indiana grant awarded to conservation districts in
Jefferson, Clark, Jackson and Scott counties.
Jackson County’s district also received another $60,900 to share through a separate application with Lawrence and Martin counties. Funds from each grant will be shared by each county.
The grants are designed to encourage producers to use a conservation cropping system, such as soil testing, no-till, cover crops and buffer practices, to improve water quality.
Overall, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Soil Conservation Board recently awarded $1,020,900 in grants to 35 soil and water conservation districts in the state.
The goals of the project are to find ways to protect drinking water, improve water quality and assist Hoosiers in gaining knowledge and awareness about the effects of land use on water resources.
Details about the application process have to be worked out, said Terry Ault, director of Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Ault said the grants are mainly designed for farmers, who will need to visit the office and fill out an application.
“We will sit down with them and determine if the project is eligible for funding,” she said.
Projects will be reviewed to determine which should have the highest priority, and funding will then be awarded, Ault said.
Priorities are based upon soil quality degradation, water quality impairments and other soil- and water-related natural resource concerns.
The funds must be used within a three-year period. Recipients will have to complete a soil test, follow recommendations based upon that testing from a consultant, and use no-till planting methods, seed cover crops and install buffer practices as needed.
Ault said Jackson County’s district was a part of two separate grants because the state tries to stretch Clean Water Indiana grant monies as far as possible.
She also said this it not the first time the district has received Clean Indiana Water grant monies.
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For information, call 812-358-2367 ext. 3 or visit the Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District at 1350 Woodside Drive, Brownstown.