Deadline for Conservation Assistance and Funding is Approaching

November 4, 2012

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida is encouraging landowners, farmers and producers to visit their local NRCS office now to receive more information and apply for conservation technical assistance and possible cost share opportunities.

The application process for 2008 Farm Bill conservation programs is continuous, but funding selections are typically made once a year. The Florida NRCS application cutoff date for consideration for Federal Fiscal Year 2013 funds is November 16, 2012.

“Applications received after that date will be considered for future funding periods,” said State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. “We’re urging producers to contact their local service center as soon as possible to be considered for this year’s funding.”

NRCS works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.

Cost share funding may be available to eligible applicants for the following Farm Bill programs:

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Through EQIP, NRCS develops contracts with agricultural producers to voluntarily implement conservation practices. Persons engaged in livestock or agricultural production and owners of non-industrial private forestland are eligible for the program. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands.

The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for developing or improving high quality habitat that supports fish and wildlife populations of National, State, Tribal, and local significance. Through WHIP, the NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to eligible private and Tribal landowners for the development of upland, wetland, aquatic, and other types of wildlife habitat.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land. CSP encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

NRCS encourages interested parties to visit with their staff as soon as possible. Applicants who apply early have more time to resolve any program or land eligibility issues, officials said.

The Escambia County Field Office is located at 151 Highway 97 in Molino (in the Escambia County Farm Bureau Building) For more information, call (850) 587-5404 ext 3, or visit www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov.

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