USDA-NRCS Announces Sign-Up Period For Conservation Programs In Connecticut
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that applications for three federal conservation programs will be ranked for possible funding on February 15, 2013. Connecticut farmers and forest landowners may apply for these programs anytime throughout the year; however, NRCS will review and rank all complete applications for the current round of funding on that date.
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program - Working Lands for Wildlife, and the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Program (all authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill), farmers and landowners may get financial and technical assistance to protect soil, water, and other natural resources. Due to limited WHIP funding, only applications that will benefit the New England Cottontail or the Bog Turtle will be considered through the Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative. Details will be available when you visit your local NRCS office.
For an application to be considered complete for ranking, the following criteria apply:
All land and producer eligibility requirements have been met.
A conservation plan identifying conservation practices to be included for proposed funding must be finalized for the enrolled land.
"We strongly encourage farmers to work with their local NRCS field office early to begin the conservation planning process and to be sure they don't miss this opportunity for conservation assistance," said Nancy Ferlow, Acting Connecticut State Conservationist.
Five national EQIP initiatives will also be available in Connecticut. They include the Long Island Sound Partnership, and the On-Farm Energy, Organic, Seasonal High Tunnel, and New England/New York Forestry Initiatives. The New England/New York Forestry Initiative is offered to non-industrial, private forest landowners to implement forest management plans on their land. Funds for this will be available through EQIP.
For more information, visit http://www.ct.nrcs.usda.gov/programs or contact your nearest USDA Field Office:Torrington - (860) 626-8258