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News Release

Additional Opportunity for Agricultural Assistance in Florida

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Applications due by March 15, 2013

Release No. 022013

GAINESVILLE, FL., January 14, 2013--The 2008 Farm Bill was recently extended by Congress until September. This extension has allowed the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida to add an additional chance for producers to improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.

"Adding an additional ranking date is going to give more producers time to submit their applications and help them get started with implementing the practices they need to benefit the natural resources on their operations," said NRCS acting state conservationist Roney Gutierrez.

Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center now to receive more information on the:

  • Organic initiative--helps producers install conservation practices on USDA certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.

  • Seasonal high tunnel initiative--helps producers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.

  • On-farm energy initiative--helps producers conserve energy on their operations.

  • Longleaf pine initiative--helps private landowners improve the sustainability and profitability of Longleaf pine forest ecosystems.

They can then apply for conservation technical assistance and possible cost-share funding opportunities. Applications must be filed no later than March 15, 2013, to be eligible for this year’s funding.

Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, the March 15th date has been set to make FY 2013 funding decisions for these special initiatives. Producers may continue to apply for all funded programs throughout the year.

Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and available programs can be found on this website:www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA - NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to your telephone directory under “U. S. Government, Department of Agriculture”, or on the web at:http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app

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