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Erosion control efforts to meet tougher standardTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Example of ephemeral erosion
Courtesy Photo­Image
Grassy waterway reduces erosion

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, which has worked to protect natural resources for over 80 years, will get tougher on soil erosion this year.

Each spring, NRCS conducts compliance reviews on a random selection of highly erodible fields to see if erosion has been controlled as outlined in Farm Bill requirements.

Since the passage of the Farm Bill in 1985, farmers have been required to control erosion on fields that are classified as highly erodible in order to be eligible for some USDA programs. 

Recently, the Office of Inspector General reviewed compliance review procedures in several states, including Nebraska. 

In their report, OIG recommended some modifications to NRCS’ compliance review procedures to provide more consistency across the nation. 

Nebraska NRCS will make some adjustments during this year’s compliance reviews that may impact several producers in Nebraska.

Previously, ephemeral gully erosion was only cited as a compliance problem if sediment was leaving the field and causing off-site damages.

Now, all ephemeral gullies on fields determined to be highly erodible will need to be controlled to meet the national standard.

Ephemeral gully erosion is characterized by small ditches in fields that farmers often smooth over with disks.

“The main impact will be on farmers whose cropland has been determined by NRCS to be highly erodible,” Nebraska State Conservationist Craig Derickson said, “They will need to consider installing additional conservation practices. Farmers will not be expected to make these changes overnight. If erosion control issues are identified during this spring’s compliance reviews, producers will be given time to make adjustments and install needed conservation practices.”

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 3/3/2017
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