Indiana NRCS Accepting Second Round Applications to Improve Big Pine Watershed

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For Immediate Release

January 29, 2021

Contact: Kris Vance, State Public Affairs Officer

Phone: 317-295-5822


Indiana NRCS Accepting Second Round Applications to Improve Big Pine Watershed

 Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today they are accepting second round applications to improve water quality in the Big Pine watershed located in northwest Indiana. 


Dollars are available for farmers through the Big Pine Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  The Big Pine watershed covers almost 210,000 acres in western Indiana which includes portions of Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe counties.  The partnership is working with farmers in the area to increase the number of nutrient and sediment reducing practices on cropland and pastureland.  While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, March 19 will be the cutoff date to be considered for this second round of funding.


Raynor said the Big Pine RCPP, funded by Farm Bill Program dollars, helps landowners adopt conservation practices and enhancements that improve water quality within the watershed.  This sign up is for financial assistance through both the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  


The Big Pine RCPP is focusing their conservation efforts on soil health practices like planting cover crops and nutrient management, which included managing the amount, source, placement and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments.  Conservation practices like these 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. 


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 project include The Nature Conservancy, Ceres Solutions Cooperative, 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.


“This project is a great example of public, private and non-profit organizations working together to  solve local problems,” said Raynor.  “The group is addressing critical issues in the watershed like water quality and soil quality.  By targeting RCPP dollars and leveraging partner resources, we can make a greater impact on the health of waterbodies in the Big Pine watershed and downstream.”


While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, all applications for this round of funding consideration must be received by March 19.


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