Over the life of the 2002 Farm Bill, $132.4 million has been spent in South Dakota on environmental programs such as Environmental Quality Incentive Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Conservation Security Program, Grassland Reserve Program, and the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Almost five million acres were enrolled in conservation programs.
According to a report by the agency, it invested $26.4 million in South Dakota's environment and economy in 2007 alone. This includes expenditures in financial assistance to producers as well as technical services provided by NRCS employees.
EQIP is the largest NRCS program in South Dakota. In fiscal year 2007, $20.7 million was spent on the program, with 728,230 acres of rangeland and croplands impacted. Most of the practices focused on improving grassland health, water quality, nutrient management, and erosion control measures. The EQIP practices include installed water development (wells, tanks, and pipeline); cross-fencing; exclusion fencing; tree planting; grass seeding; and animal waste management systems.
The economic expenditures in South Dakota from other NRCS conservation programs during FY 2007 were WRP with $1.98 million; CSP with $2.7 million; and WHIP with $367,892.
"In addition to the direct environmental benefits, the indirect impact on the rural economy creates positive changes in productivity, job creation, and recreation, as well as consumer and business spending. In all, this results in an economic impact much greater than the initial investment," says Janet Oertly, state conservationist. "The funding amounts for FY 2007 look good. But when you look at the past five years of the 2002 Farm Bill, the environmental gains go hand-in-hand with the economic gains."