an adjunct of the local conservation district, the Watershed board has
worked closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to promote
the use of state and federal cost share programs to implement farming
practices that protect water quality. Structural practices that have
been funded include animal waste systems, waterways, and terraces. Incentive
payments have been provided for management practices including nutrient
and pest management and improved grazing practices. Other funding sources
have allowed the project to implement a number of demonstration projects.
Recognizing their own interest in promoting voluntary farmer participation
in the project, the city of Wichita has been able to "sweeten the
pot" for watershed farmers. Traditional state and federal cost
share programs reimburse farmers 50-70% of the county average cost for
structural practices. Wichita offers an additional 30% of the average
cost so that, in some cases, farmers are not incurring any out-of- pocket
recent addition to the cost share opportunities being offered is the CRP
Fencing Program in which Wichita has agreed to pay 50% of the cost to
install up to 2 miles of perimeter fence on expired CRP contracts within
the watershed. Because well-managed grass acts as a filter for runoff
water, farmers with expired CRP acres are being encouraged to manage
their land for haying or grazing instead of converting the acres back to
cost share programs through the State Conservation Commission include
Water Resources Cost Share (WRCS) and Non-Point Source (NPS) programs.
Federal funding includes the USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program
(EQIP). Other sources of cost share funds are available as well.