Cost share available for soil moisture probes
The Upper Republican Nautral Resources District is now accepting applications from ag producers/landowners in the district to receive cost share for up to four soil moisture probes for use in 2015.
The Nebraska Environmental Trust has recommended that the NRD receive $100,000 in grant funds this year to encourage use of the probes. Final approval of the grant is expected in April.
The grant will help pay for two-thirds of the cost of either leasing or buying probes. The two-thirds cost-share provided by the grant and NRD will be capped at $1,650 per probe.
Cost share can be used on all services related to the probe. For example, the telemetry that electronically relays information from probes to home computers or smart phones is eligible for cost-share.
Using the probes and following irrigation scheduling recommendations that they offer has been demonstrated to reduce water use by about 2 inches per acre.
Growers in the district who use probes have verified reduced water use.
The probes have grown in popularity the last few years. Since the NRD began offering cost share under three different grant-funded programs in 2012, producers have bought or leased about 160 of the probes under the programs and used them on about 26,000 acres in the district.
There are no restrictions on the types of soil-moisture probes that can be used, but the probes must be used within the Upper Republican NRD.
To apply for cost-share, get an application form from the URNRD website at www.urnrd.org or pick one up at the office at 511 East Fifth St. in Imperial.
Completed forms can be dropped off at the office, mailed to the office at Upper Republican NRD, P.O. Box 1140, Imperial, NE 69033, scanned and emailed to
, or faxed to 308-882-4521.
People with questions about the program can contact Nate Jenkins at the NRD, 882-5173.
The Nebraska Legislature created the Environmental Trust in 1992.
Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $199 million in grants to over 1,600 projects across the state.
Anyone can apply for funding, which is used to preserve, protect and restore natural resources for future generations.