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Deadline nears for conservation aid

Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

For agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland producers interested in applying for farm bill conservation program financial assistance in Fiscal Year 2013, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee has set Friday, Dec. 21, as the signup cutoff date for first evaluation funding consideration. 

Pending the availability of funds, additional evaluation periods may occur and cutoff dates will be posted on the Tennessee website at http://www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.

Conservation program financial assistance is contingent on passage of a new Farm Bill and ensuing Fiscal Year 2013 fund allocations to states. The application deadline applies to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and EQIP National Initiatives and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) and WHIP National Initiatives.

Eligible producers with a conservation plan for their operation receive priority for financial assistance. NRCS staff is available to help producers create conservation plans. Only projects that are “ready to implement” will be ranked for funding. Applications can be submitted throughout the year.

NRCS’s conservation programs address resource concerns such as soil erosion, soil health, irrigation efficiency, impaired water quality and fragmented wildlife habitat.  EQIP, one of NRCS’s largest conservation programs, helps eligible producers plan and implement conservation practices that provide opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, energy, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.

For additional information, eligible producers are encouraged to contact their local NRCS Service Center. Service center locations and more information on the programs can be found at www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov.

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America’s private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935.

For program information, contact John Rissler at (615) 277-2576 or AnnSue Wattenbarger at (615) 277-2570.