Highland News Leader

Funds available to help Madison County landowners to reduce soil erosion

In 1982, the state of Illinois and the 98 Soil and Water Conservation Districts initiated the Illinois Erosion and Sediment Control Program, with the goal of reducing soil loss on agricultural land to a "tolerable" soil loss level.

Although very good progress has been made, approximately 3.2 million crop land acres (14 percent) are still exceeding tolerable soil loss levels. In addition, 18 percent of cropland fields are experiencing either ephemeral or gully erosion. These agricultural lands are the target of the Conservation Practices Program.

Soil conservation reduces sedimentation, protects water quality, reduces flooding and helps maintain soil productivity and farmer profitability.

The primary purpose of the Conservation Practices Program is to provide cost-share assistance to eligible landowners, with sheet and rill erosion or ephemeral/gully erosion on cropland, for constructing conservation practices that conserve soil and protect other natural resources.

Eligibility for Program Assistance

All land users are eligible to apply for and receive cost-share assistance if they have on file a conservation plan approved by a SWCD. To be eligible for cost-share assistance, the land upon which a land user intends to install eligible conservation practices must be experiencing sheet and rill erosion or ephemeral/gully erosion.

Some of the eligible practices are:

  • field border strips,

  • filter strips,

  • critical area planting,

  • grassed waterways,

  • diversion,

  • water- and sediment-control basins,

  • grade stabilization structures,

  • terraces,

  • grassed waterway earthwork, and

  • cover crops.

How to apply

Applications will be taken from May 1 to July 1. They will be evaluated with soil loss calculations and the top six will be selected and notified. The top two rated applicants will receive $2,250 for installing practices. The other four rated applicants will receive $2,000 to assist with costs of installing practices.

Applications to apply for assistance can be obtained at the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District Office, 7205 Marine Road (Illinois 143) in Edwardsville, or phone 618-656-7300, ext. 3.