BROOKINGS, S.D. - April 14, 2020 - Eastern South Dakota producers can sign up for a new program offering financial assistance to incorporate soil health practices on their farms and ranches. Ducks Unlimited is working with farmers and ranchers to apply for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), offered through USDA&squo;s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The deadline to sign up is May 15.

"The RCPP program is looking for landowners and producers to adopt practices to improve soil health, wildlife habitat, diversifying crop rotations and land uses to increase productivity,&dquo; said Bruce Toay, DU&squo;s manager of conservation programs for South Dakota. "We can help farmers and ranchers take a look at whether they qualify for the program and if these practices will improve their operations.&dquo;

Producers in eastern South Dakota are eligible to apply for the James River Watershed RCPP, or the Prairie Pothole Working Lands RCPP, based on farm location and geography. Applications will be ranked according to how incorporated practices will address local resource concerns and benefit wildlife. For more information, contact your local NRCS office or Bruce Toay at or (605) 380-0684

Under RCPP, Local, state and federal agencies collaborate with non-government partners to invest in cleaner water and air, healthier soil and enhanced wildlife habitat. These partnerships will bring private funding to further increase conservation dollars available for farmers and ranchers. The James River and Prairie Pothole RCPP projects include county conservation districts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, S.D. Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and other groups to restore and protect working-land habitats.

For more information, visit and be sure to follow DU&squo;s newest Twitter feed - @DUNews1937 - to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.

About Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14.5 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit

Media Contact:

Becky Jones Mahlum