April 14, 2008

Peoria County Soil & Water Conservation Funding

By WEEK Reporter

July 15, 2010 Updated Apr 14, 2008 at 8:00 PM CDT

The state budget stalemate is causing a pinch for some soil and water conservation districts.
Many are still waiting for the remainder of current year funding allocations.

One big component of The Peoria County Soil and Water Conservation District is working with farmers to help keep their soil healthy for planting.
April brings the start of the planting season for many Central Illinois farmers.
Arlan Janssen of Hanna City says he stopped tilling his fields more than 20 years ago..to protect against erosion.

"Corn stalks hold a lot of the dirt in where if the ground was torn up it would be much more subject to erosion, " said Janssen.

As a result Janssen says he has better topsoil to produce good corn and soybean crops.
Unlike farmers who till their land Janssen does not have to rely on the Peoria County Soil and Water Conservation District for help in fighting erosion. Resource Conservationist Josh Joseph said the agency is still waiting for the remainder of it's annual funding allocation that goes to assist local farmers.

"We have a lot of soil erosion problems that we try to help them fix by giving them dollars to help off set the cost of putting in the practices. That's being reduced," said Joseph.

Farmer Arlan Janssen says with more rain and snow over the winter erosion is a bigger problem now compared to last year. He says conservation money is needed to keep the work going.

"We've also started in stream stabilization processes which will definitely be curtailed." said Janssen.

The Peoria Conservation office recently laid off two part time workers.

Josh Joseph says some money for erosion control is still available under another program.
He says if state money does not come within the next 4 to 6 months full time staff could also be laid off.

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