Funds for ring dikes available to farmersNorth Dakota and Minnesota farmers could get 75 percent of the cost of a farmstead ring dike covered by the federal government.
By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM
North Dakota and Minnesota farmers could get 75 percent of the cost of a farmstead ring dike covered by the federal government.
They need to act quickly, though. The application period begins Monday and ends July 15.
The National Resources Conservation Service has allocated
$2 million to Minnesota and $1 million to North Dakota for ring dike construction. The assistance is through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
The permanent earthen structures would protect the farmsteads from flooding, which would keep the local water supply from being contaminated by fuels or fertilizer, said Glen Kajewski, assistant state conservationist in Thief River Falls, Minn.
These ring dikes will also be part of the larger solution for permanent flood control, officials said Saturday at a meeting discussing the project.
“We know these are going to be needed,” said Lance Yohe, executive director of the Red River Basin Commission. “This money that’s going toward solutions right now.”
The average cost for the ring dikes will be between $60,000 and $65,000 per farmstead, Yohe said.
In Minnesota, there are nearly 40 existing eligible requests for ring dike assistance.
In North Dakota, about 240 farmsteads were identified as potentially needing ring dikes, said Randy Gjestvang, Red River Water Resource engineer. Not all of these would be eligible, but Gjestvang said ag producers should seriously consider the project.
“If they have any water problems, now is the time to jump on it,” Gjestvang said.
Both states have had programs to split the cost of ring dike construction with landowners, using state and local resources.
The federal dollars will only be available to agriculture producers, instead of any rural resident.
Bryan Hest, who farms southeast of Perley, Minn., had a ring dike built around his farmstead five years ago.
“For us it was the perfect fit,” Hest said. “We were able to have the sense of security to put money back into our home,” including a new basement and bin.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., officially announced the funding last week. Peterson had invited the Conservation Service Chief David White to tour his district after the spring flood.
Peterson said Saturday he hopes other flood protection projects could receive funding though the Conservation Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He said a lot of extra dollars were pumped into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in the 2009 Farm Bill.
- What: Under the new ring dike project, local agriculture producers could have 75 percent of the costs of building a ring dike paid for in federal funds. The remaining 25 percent could be defrayed by state and local watershed dollars.
Socially disadvantaged, limited-resource and beginning producers may be eligible for up to 90 percent federal assistance.
Applications should be submitted to the local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.
Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov for office locations.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556