A $1.7 million grant from the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will help develop a statewide strategy to increase irrigation on cropland. The Alabama Farmers Federation will lead the effort while partnering with NRCS, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other organizations.
The funding will help build on-farm reservoirs and construct other irrigation systems.
“The ability to harness and better utilize Alabama’s abundant water resources will be pivotal in the agricultural and economic development of our state,” Federation President Jimmy Parnell said. “This program will help farmers overcome financial barriers to invest in the most efficient irrigation technologies available.”
The project is one of 115 initiatives nationwide funded through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
“RCPP puts our partners in the driver’s seat,” said Dr. William E. Puckett, NRCS state conservationist in Alabama. “The Alabama Farmers Federation project is a phenomenal example of this partnership approach for conservation that will leave an impact on the entire state.”
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, Alabama has more than 2.7 million acres of cropland, but only 112,000 acres of irrigated land. For more information on the project, visit nrcs.usda.gov.