Arizona On-Farm Energy Initiative Funding Available for 2011
Applications Due February 25, 2011
PHOENIX, Feb. 14, 2011 — Arizona farmers, ranchers, dairies, nursery growers, and other agricultural producers can apply for financial help to get an energy audit for their operation. The Arizona On-Farm Energy Initiative, an EQIP program, is being offered for Fiscal Year 2011 funding. This initiative is open to agricultural producers for the development of Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP), Conservation Activity Plans (CAP) and for individual on-farm energy audits.
An AgEMP is an analysis of current farm infrastructure and management with recommendations to reduce energy consumption on the farm. This includes purchased fuels, electricity and renewable energy sources used to perform farm activities. A plan can be developed for each farm enterprise, such as a livestock production system, a field crop system, and specialized non-livestock operations such as greenhouses and cold storage. This provides the farmer with cost effective ways to reduce operating costs while saving energy.
The advantages of energy conservation includes reducing air pollutants, reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, reducing dependence on petroleum based products, and slowing escalation of energy costs due to lower demand.
Applications for assistance through this program will be accepted on a continuous basis, but must be received no later than February 25, 2011 to be considered for 2011 funding. In order to be eligible to participate, an applicant must be eligible for EQIP as specified in the Conservation Programs Manual Producer Eligibility and Land Eligibility. Eligible applications will be selected for funding until funds are exhausted.
Those who receive this funding will only receive EQIP payments if their plans are developed by certified technical service providers (TSPs). A list of certified TSPs can be found at http://techreg.usda.gov/CustLocateTSP.aspx. Energy Audits must be completed within 12 months of contract obligation. In order to receive payment, the applicant must provide a copy of the AgEMP to the local field office.
For more information and to apply for the Arizona On-Farm Energy Initiative, please contact your local NRCS field office. Find the one nearest you at www.az.nrcs.usda.gov/contact or call 620-280-8800 for more information.