Project Continues in 2016, Aims to Protect Water Quality

West Tennessee water quality project, University of Tennessee

A variable rate phosphorus prescription map for a cotton field in West Tennessee. Image modified by L. Duncan, UT Extension Row Crop Sustainability Specialist who is managing the USDA grant to help protect water quality in the North Fork Obion River Watershed and ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico.  Photo courtesy L. Duncan, UTIA. Download image.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Northwest Tennessee farmers are eligible in 2016 to participate in a water quality preservation project sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Funding is available through USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), providing $400,000 to help protect water quality in the North Fork Obion River Watershed and ultimately, the Gulf of Mexico. The five-year RCPP agreement between University of Tennessee Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was signed on May 21, 2015, and is available to assist farmers in adopting precision nutrient management techniques. 

Farmers with land in production in parts of Obion, Weakley, Henry, Lake, Dyer, Gibson and Lauderdale counties are eligible to participate in 2016. Interested parties in any of these West Tennessee counties should sign up at their local USDA Service Center.

USDA’s NRCS conservation practices will be implemented through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Farmers who are willing or are currently implementing some form of precision agriculture, specifically application of fertilizers using variable rate technology (VRT), are encouraged to apply. Also, applicants must have yield-monitoring capabilities. Financial and technical assistance will be provided.

For more information on Tennessee RCPP projects, visit the 
Tennessee NRCS webpage or view the National RCPP webpage​.

Lori Duncan, UT Extension Row Crop Sustainability Specialist, and John Rissler, Tennessee NRCS Assistant State Conservationist, will be managing the project. For more information contact Duncan at 865-974-7111 and Rissler at 615-277-2576.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps America’s farmers and ranchers conserve the Nation’s soil, water, air and other natural resources. All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and the environment. 
USDA is an equal opportunity employer and lender.



Lori Duncan, UT Extension Row Crop Sustainability Specialist, 865-974-7111