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Apply before Oct. 28 for Conservation Funding



The Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering financial and technical assistance to help agricultural producers apply conservation practices on their private land as well as their public land allotments. Producers are encouraged to apply for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Agricultural Management Assistance or Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program by Oct. 28 to be considered in the next funding cycle.

EQIP is a voluntary, financial assistance program that helps fund conservation practices to protect sage-grouse habitat, control weeds, improve irrigation efficiency, and reduce soil loss. This year, the NRCS awarded nearly 100 EQIP contracts in Nevada totaling more than $8 million.

“EQIP is adaptable to meet the various needs of our landowners and address their natural resource challenges,” said Bruce Petersen, Nevada NRCS State Conservationist.

Farmers transitioning to organic production or who are already certified as an organic producer may qualify for EQIP. Organic producers can receive up to $20,000 per year or $80,000 over six years through this program.

AMA provides financial assistance to producers to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control. Producers may construct or improve water management or irrigation structures, plant trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality, and mitigate risk through production diversification or resource conservation practices, including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transitioning to organic farming.  In 2011, 18 contracts were awarded in Nevada for over $77,000.

WHIP is a voluntary program for conservation-minded landowners who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat on agricultural land.  Nine contracts were awarded in Nevada this year, for $625,000.

According to Gary Roeder, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, applications for EQIP, AMA and WHIP are accepted year-round; however periodic closing dates are announced so that applications can be ranked.  “Applications received before 4:00 pm on October 28 will be considered in the next ranking period,” said Roeder.

The amount of financial assistance producers receive varies by program and will depend on future allocations received under the 2008 Farm Bill.  Limited resource, beginning and socially disadvantaged producers may be eligible for larger payments.

To learn more, contact your local NRCS office or go online to http://www.nv.nrcs.usda.gov.

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