Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Farmers Asked to Sign Up For EQIP Before October 15th
Farmers, livestock producers and other landowners can now take advantage of the conservation practices available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by applying for the program at their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office, but they must do so by October 15th to be considered in the first ranking pool. If you have an existing application with the local NRCS office, please contact them to sign updated forms.
"On a statewide basis, we have over 50 conservation practices that agricultural producers can sign up for right now," said Brian Wade, NRCS District Conservationist. "We have cost sharing assistance for practices from fencing to pipedrops and from ag waste facilities to underground irrigation pipelines. EQIP offers many practices to help farmers and livestock producers install conservation on farms. We are encouraging applicants to come by our office before October 15, 2011, for more detailed information on the program in Winn Parish."
Every application will be ranked according to total environmental benefits derived from the implementation of conservation practices and the best will be funded. NRCS evaluates each application using a state and locally developed evaluation process. High priorities are given to applications that encourage the use of cost-effective conservation practices, address state and national conservation priorities and optimize environmental benefits.
EQIP helps producers through cost sharing and incentive payments for the implementation of conservation practices. All EQIP activities must be carried out according to a conservation plan of operations developed by the producer, NRCS and in cooperation with the Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
"The supervisors of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts realize that EQIP, and the cost sharing that goes along with it, can make a big difference for producers in Winn Parish and we want to help them as much as possible," said, Bruce Frazier, Chairman, Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District. "EQIP has the potential of making a great impact on our local natural resources and we want all producers to take a good look at this opportunity."
Individuals qualifying as beginning farmers or limited-resource farmers may be eligible for a greater payment rate than other producers.
Incentive payments may be made to encourage a producer to adopt land management practices such as nutrient management, manure management, integrated pest management, irrigation water management and shallow water management for wildlife, or to develop a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan.
New practices offered this year include protection for animal feeding areas and reforestation in addition to other beneficial land practices. For more information on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and how it may help you and your operation, call (318) 628-4438; for Jackson Parish (318) 255-3136 ext. 3.; for Caldwell Parish (318) 649-2651 ext. 3; for Winn Parish (318) 352-7100 ext 3.
All programs and services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or disability.