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News Release

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Accepting 2013 General Environmental Quality Incentives

Program Applications through Nov. 16

LITTLE ROCK, AR Oct. 19, 2012 – Farmers and landowners in Arkansas have until Nov. 16 to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation activities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2013 program year.  Applicants can sign up at their local U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service field service center.

Individuals and other entities actively engaged in agricultural production are eligible to participate in EQIP.  The EQIP deadline is for consideration in the local and statewide initiatives funding categories.

LOCAL & STATEWIDE FUNDING

The local categories are intended to focus on the primary resource issues in a localized area, as identified by the locally-led conservation workgroup representatives for each county.  The statewide categories are designed to address the resource concerns of water quality issues related to animal manure management and sedimentation, improved management of irrigation water and reduction in ground water use, reduction of erosion and improvement of wildlife habitat.

All applications will be evaluated for funding based on a state developed procedure to optimize environmental benefits.  Applications ranking highest in a funding category will be funded subject to availability of program funds. 

The deadline for applicants to meet program eligibility, be evaluated and ranked in the local initiative categories is Jan. 18, 2013.  Eligible applications will be selected for funding by Jan. 25, 2013, and funds must be obligated no later than March 29, 2013.  Applications not received by Nov. 16, 2012, will not be considered for the Jan. 18, 2013, ranking period.

Applications competing for statewide funding must be eligible, evaluated and ranked by March 15, 2013.  Funding selections of eligible applications will be completed by March 22, 2013, and obligations must be finalized no later than April 19, 2013.  Applications not received by Nov. 16, 2012, will not be considered for the March 15, 2013, ranking period.

For more information, visit http://www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/eqip.html or contact the local USDA/NRCS field service center.

To sign up for EQIP, visit your local USDA field service center. To locate the local office, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.