To the Editor:
Indiana has experienced rain and flood of historical proportions this year.
The agricultural community is experiencing problems with our two most precious natural resources -- soil and water.
The State Soil Conservation Board recognizes that each area of the state has unique conservation and recovery challenges. The State Soil Conservation Board would like to encourage you to use your County Soil and Water Conservation Office (SWCD) as a local source of support and guidance, as well as financial and technical resources.
In counties affected by the excess moisture, the SWCD, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, USDA including the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are working together to deliver disaster recovery programs to farmers.
The State Soil Conservation Board has approved a modification to existing Clean Water Indiana Grants to allow SWCDs flexibility to use those dollars, nearly $260,000, for appropriate disaster recovery projects. Each local SWCD board will make its own determination of local resource needs and approve the grant modification within broad general guidelines.
Now is the time for all of Indiana to focus on recovery and protection of our soil and water. These recovery, protection and conservation efforts are both an immediate and long-term project. To maintain and rehabilitate our fertile soils, we must use good conservation practices.
In areas not directly affected by the rains and floods, we urge you to get involved with your SWCD office and learn about the best soil conservation practices for your farm. We only have to look at the affected counties to see where good conservation practices lessened the impact of the excess rains to understand the value of these practices. Good conservation practices are not a cost but an investment in the long-term productivity of our soil.
The State Soil Conservation Board is committed to assisting the county SWCDs as they champion natural resource conservation and stewardship while responding to the specific needs in each county. The agricultural community of Indiana will continue to provide food for its citizens, but only if we continue to protect our soil and water. Please join the State Soil Conservation Board in protecting our soil and water through good conservation farming practices.
Clay County Soil and Water