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News Release

Conservation Funding Available for Farmers to Enhance Soil Health

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Jeff Harlow
Asst. State Conservationist for Programs
Natural Resources Conservation Service
(509) 323-2971

For immediate release

Spokane, WA. (Feb. 14, 2013) — Private landowners and tribes working to increase crop residues, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve soil health on their farm, may apply for conservation financial and technical assistance, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today.

Funding is available through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program in certain counties across Oregon, Washington and Idaho. In Washington; Adams, Benton, Columbia, Douglas, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Klickitat, Lincoln, Spokane, Walla Walla, and Whitman counties have the option to participate. Producers who are working to improve soil health by installing conservation practices such as no-till/strip-till, direct seeding, mulch till, cover crops or conservation crop rotation, may apply.

The deadline to apply is March 15, 2013.

EQIP is one of several voluntary conservation programs designed to help farmers, ranchers, and non-industrial forestland owners improve and enhance the condition of water, soil, and other natural resources on private working lands. Additional assistance for beginning, historically underserved and limited resource farmers, ranchers and forestry owners is also available through these programs.

Producers that receive an EQIP contract under this program will also have the opportunity to work with Applied Ecological Services (AES), a private organization, to participate in a study to measure and quantify soil carbon on their fields through soil sampling. This is optional, and not a requirement for participation..

“NRCS awarded a Conservation Innovative Grant (CIG) to AES to measure and quantify soil carbon in the Palouse region,” said Jeff Harlow, assistant state conservationist for programs. “Their goal is to use soil sampling to document the benefits of carbon accrual through the use of no-till and minimum tillage practices.”

Producers who are interested in this program are urged to visit their local USDA Service Center by March 15, 2013. Landowners new to USDA programs are encouraged to contact their local NRCS field office as soon as possible to ensure they have the time needed to make informed decisions and complete the application process.

Additional information on these and other conservation programs may be found on the NRCS Washington web site.


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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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