Indiana NRCS Accepting Second Round Applications in Big Pine Watershed

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For Immediate Release

February 9, 2017

Contact: Becky Fletcher, State Public Affairs Officer

Phone: 317-295-5825


Indiana NRCS Accepting Second Round Applications in Big Pine Watershed

Indianapolis, IN, February 8, 2017 – Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today they are still accepting applications to improve water quality in the Big Pine watershed located in northwest Indiana. 


Dollars are still available for farmers through the Big Pine Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  The watershed which includes portions of Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe counties and the partnership is working with farmers in the area to increase the number of nutrient and sediment reducing practices on cropland.  While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, March 15 will be the second cutoff date this year to be considered for funding for this partnership project.


“This project is a great example of public, private and non-profit organizations working together to solve local problems,” said Hardisty.  “The group is addressing critical issues in the Big Pine watershed such as water quality, soil quality and at-risk habitat by leveraging partner resources.”


RCPP is a partner-led program, with NRCS directing technical and financial assistance to priorities identified by partners.  Partners involved in Indiana’s Big Pine watershed include The Nature Conservancy, Ceres Solutions LLC, Land O’Lakes, Winfield United, Conservation Technology Information Center, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and NRCS.  The group has also engaged agronomy retailers to further conservation efforts in the area.


Project partners are also providing the opportunity for farmers to participate in running the Fieldprint Calculator on their farms, at no cost to the producer.  This tool analyzes how crop production operations impacts natural resources and operational efficiency.  The tool allows farmers to look at different scenarios and observe how management decisions affect their farm’s sustainability.


RCPP funding comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to help farmers adopt conservation practices that improve water quality within the watershed.  Conservation practices reduce the amount of nutrients flowing from farm fields into waterways, curb erosion and improve the resiliency of agricultural lands during times of extreme weather.  This RCPP project is focusing on soil health practices like planting cover crops and nutrient management as well as implementing CSP enhancements. 


“This project greatly expands the use of conservation practices that build soil health in the Big Pine watershed and will help us document the effect of those practices in a way that is meaningful to producers and managers,” said Hardisty.


All applications for this round of funding consideration must be received by March 15, 2017.


To learn more about RCPP in Indiana, visit: 


For more information about NRCS and other technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit or contact your District Conservationist