NRCS Nevada has requested additional financial assistance to assist farmers and ranchers through a special initiative for agricultural producers impacted by the exceptional drought the state is experiencing. Applications are being taken at local USDA service centers through April 18, 2014, for those needing assistance.
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), NRCS is addressing emergency issues associated with livestock production and recovery efforts aimed at restoring or protecting lands within extreme drought areas.
“Nevada is one of the hardest hit states and our livestock herds are in dire need of water and forage. This funding will help producers keep their cattle healthy and protect rangeland,” said Bruce Petersen, NRCS State Conservationist.
“With this funding, we hope to provide some immediate relief for ranchers and livestock,” said Gary Roeder, NRCS assistant state conservationist. “Through EQIP, farmers can apply for numerous practices designed to provide immediate drought relief and to help with drought recovery. Practices include: watering systems, planting annual forages, permanent reseeding, prescribed grazing and deferred grazing on rangelands. Irrigation water conservation practices to conserve water and residue management practices to protect soils are some of the eligible practices on croplands.”
Landowners with a current EQIP contract can also request a contract modification to re-schedule planned conservation practices such as prescribed grazing, livestock watering facilities, water conservation and other conservation activities until drought conditions improve.
“NRCS will work closely with producers to ensure successful implementation of planned conservation practices,” Roeder said. “Where conservation activities have failed because of drought, NRCS will look for opportunities to work with farmers and ranchers to re-apply those activities.”
According to the March 11 U.S. Drought Monitor, 34 percent of Nevada is in an extreme drought and almost 73 percent is in severe drought. A map of the drought areas in Nevada is located at: http://bit.ly/1gzM2xJ
For more information, contact your local USDA service center or visit: www.nv.nrcs.usda.gov.