The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing new grants for rural water and waste systems, along with offering an update on the state’s harvest.
USDA grants to enhance rural water and waste systems
The USDA Rural Development has unveiled an opportunity for private nonprofit organizations to apply for grants aimed at enhancing water treatment and waste disposal systems in rural areas. This initiative, part of the Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance and Training Grants program, strives to improve essential facilities for households and businesses in rural communities.
Funds may be used for:
- Identifying and evaluating solutions to water problems related to source, storage, treatment, distribution, collection, and disposal;
- Providing technical assistance and training to improve management, operations and maintenance of water and waste disposal systems; or
- Preparing water and waste disposal loan and grant applications.
Eligible areas for these grants encompass cities, towns, unincorporated rural regions with populations up to 10,000 residents, and tribal lands. Priority consideration will be given to projects serving areas with populations of fewer than 5,500 or 2,500 residents. Projects are expected to be completed within 12 months.
Applications will be accepted from now until Dec. 31, 2023, on grants.gov. For more information on the USDA Rural Development’s priority points and updates, please visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points.
Illinois farmers making progress
Farmers in the Land of Lincoln are starting to make significant progress with harvesting the state’s corn and soybean crops.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), 23 percent of Illinois corn acres have been harvested, along with 19 percent of soybean acres. Those totals are just about double the number of acres that were harvested at the same point in 2022.
The condition of the crops has improved significantly as well. While much of the state was suffering from moderate to severe drought as recently as June, late season rains helped the fields to rebound. According to the NASS data, 66 percent of Illinois corn and soybean acres are rated as good or excellent.