NRCS accepting applications for EQIP program

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

CARROLL COUNTY -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications to help producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.

NRCS has directed almost $61 million in financial assistance for fiscal 2013 to help Arkansas producers implement conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the agency's largest Farm Bill conservation program. Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center for information on EQIP sign-up periods.

"The Environmental Quality Incentives Program offers farmers, ranchers and forestland managers a variety of options to conserve natural resources while maintaining production on their lands," State Conservationist Mike Sullivan said. "This $60.8 million conservation investment helps improve environmental health and the economy of Arkansas's rural communities."

EQIP provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities, such as irrigation water management, reduced tillage, field buffers, rotational grazing systems and much more.

The deadline for funding consideration through the following initiatives/projects is Jan. 18, 2013:

* Mississippi River Basin Initiative

* StrikeForce Initiative

* Illinois River Sub-Basin and Eucha-Spavinaw Lake Watershed Initiative

* Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (Little Red River project in White County)

* Wildlife

Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives through EQIP, including:

* On-Farm Energy Initiative.

* Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative.

* Organic Initiative.

To participate in EQIP, an applicant must be an individual, entity or joint operation that meets EQIP eligibility criteria. Applicants can sign up at their local NRCS service center.

For more information about EQIP and initiatives in Arkansas, visit http://www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov.

For more information about EQIP or other technical or financial assistance programs offered by NRCS, please contact your local service center: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?agency=nrcs

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