$10 million to retire irrigated acres
In 2020, nearly 9,000 acres in the Upper Republican Natural Resources District will come out of retirement.
Landowners enrolled these acres in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), which retired the ground from farming and irrigation for 15 years.
As that ground comes out of CREP, the URNRD wants to entice those landowners to permanently retire irrigation on those acres.
The URNRD has a total of $10 million—$6 million in state grant funds, matched by another $4 million in reserves—to essentially purchase the landowner’s right to irrigate those acres.
The landowner will retain ownership of the land and will be able to farm it on a dryland basis if they choose to do so.
NRD Assistant Manager Nate Jenkins said all owners of affected CREP land will be notified of the new program in the next 10 days.
He said the district will use a bid process where landowners will offer a bid to the NRD for the amount they feel they need to receive for permanently retiring irrigation on these acres.
At the conclusion of the bid period, estimated to be 30-60 days, Jenkins said they will review and score all bids.
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