Producers Encouraged to Signup for Conservation Programs
Auburn, Ala, July 8, 2011
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Dr. William Puckett announced September 30, 2011, as the cutoff date for producers to sign up for 2012 funding for the following conservation programs:
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) which includes the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, organic farming, and Seasonal High Tunnels
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) which includes longleaf pine
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis; however, selecting applications for funding is completed periodically through batching periods with specific cutoff dates.
In the CSP, EQIP and WHIP programs, eligible producers may receive a payment based on the statewide average cost of the installation of the conservation practice.
Socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers are eligible for a higher payment based on the statewide average cost of the installation of the conservation practice. In addition, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers can receive up to 30 percent advanced payment for purchasing materials or contracting. GRP and WRP are conservation easement programs where landowners receive payments for developing and protecting wetlands and grazing lands.
Interested producers should visit their nearest USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Individuals are not eligible for EQIP until they have completed the Farm Bill eligibility requirements. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office or Farm Service Agency Office to begin this process. NRCS field offices are listed in the telephone directory under U.S. Department of Agriculture or on-line at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov.