U.S. Water News Online
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- Thousands of farmers and ranchers are
applying for federal money to conserve water and grassland after one
of the driest and hottest years on record.
In all, 9,172 Nebraska farmers and ranchers applied for the
federal incentives. About 550 applications statewide will be approved
for about $11 million in federal funding for water conservation
efforts, said Pat McGrane with the Nebraska Natural Resources and
The U.S. Department of Agriculture appropriated an additional $1
million for Nebraska that could fund another 50 or so applications.
The average amount given per qualifying application is $20,000.
The funds are given based on a rating system of how much a
proposed project can produce in conservation efforts.
For farmers, the money can be used to pay as much as 40 percent of
costs in replacing older water systems with more efficient pivot
The funds can be used to pay up to 75 percent of the cost of
installing water lines, tanks and cross fences in ranchers' pastures.
Farmers and ranchers can use the money for other environmental
The 2002 allocation for Nebraska was more than double last year's
$4.3 million, McGrane said. The projection for the state's portion of
the program next year is about $20 million.
Another 30 percent bump is programmed in 2004.
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