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News Release

Initiative Targets Pigweed in Five Alabama Counties

Auburn, Ala. Sept. 14, 2010

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Dr. William Puckett today announced an initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) designed to help agricultural producers control Palmer amaranth, a species of Pigweed. 

Palmer amaranth has developed resistance to glyphosate and can quickly spread from a few plants into a major infestation if not quickly controlled.   Puckett said, “A major concern is the loss of conservation tillage acreage as producers revert to tillage to control this weed.  In this initiative, we encourage the use of conservation tillage methods, integrated pest management principles and diversification of herbicide chemistries.  We have allocated special funds to target Palmer amaranth in five Alabama counties:  Barbour, Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison, and Russell.”  Agricultural producers in the targeted counties must submit applications on or before October 30, 2010, to receive consideration for funding in FY-2011.  Applications received after October 30, 2010, will still be accepted, but will be "deferred" to the next funding cycle.

EQIP is a voluntary 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.  The 2008 Farm Bill authorized special emphasis funding for:  Beginning, Socially Disadvantaged, and Limited Resource Farmers and Ranchers.  Applying for EQIP is continuous; however, selecting applications for funding is completed periodically through batching periods with specific cutoff dates. 

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 NRCS 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  For information about EQIP visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip.

This year represents the 75th year of NRCS "Helping People Help the Land." Since its inception the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.