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Arizona NRCS Media

Valentino Reyes, 602-280-8780

Landowners, NRCS Partners to Boost Pollinator Populations

June, 2013When it comes to pollinators, Arizona farmers and ranchers are creating habitat to boost their populations and harness these critters’ value. With National Pollinator Week beginning today, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is using the opportunity to promote pollinators, like bees and butterflies.

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News Release (June 17, 2013)
 

Conservation Volunteers Honored During National Week

April 22, 2013 USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 21 to 27 by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. Earth Team is the agency’s volunteer workforce, and nationally, in fiscal 2012, more than 19,000 people donated 305,564 hours of service to NRCS worth approximately $6.7 million.

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News Release (April 22, 2013)
 

Arizona Snowpack Levels Below Average - Final Report 2013

April 16, 2013Among the findings in the Basin Outlook Report, the Salt River basin snowpack was measured at 29 percent of the 30-year median; the Verde River basin at 71 percent of median; the San Francisco-Upper Gila basin at 29 percent of median; and the southern headwaters of the Little Colorado River basin had 53 percent of median snowpack. In the Chuska Mountains of northeastern Arizona, snowpack conditions were measured at 73 percent of median.


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News Release (April 16, 2013)

Easement ProgramsNRCS Easements Protect Agricultural Lands, Wetlands and Grasslands - Applications for FY13 funds for three different easement programs due March 1.

January 11, 2013 The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications year round for the Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program and Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program. Applications requesting potential funding for FY13 must be submitted by March 1.

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News Release (January 11, 2013)

Snow survey team member evaluates snow levels.Arizona Snowpack Levels Above Average

January 10, 2013The Arizona Basin Outlook Report released this week by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) shows the state snowpack to be above average levels. The federal agency monitors snow conditions in Arizona’s mountain watersheds each winter to estimate the amount of water available for spring and summer uses.


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News Release (January 10, 2013)

 

EQIP and WHIP 2013 Applications Due Jan. 18NRCS Helps Land Users Put Conservation on the Ground - Applications for NRCS’s EQIP and WHIP 2013 financial assistance due – April 19

October 7, 2012 The Arizona Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers and ranchers with a broad spectrum of natural resource enhancements. These include increasing irrigation efficiency, nutrient and manure management on dairies, grazing land management, wildlife habitat, forest management and many more.

Applicants interested in potential 2013 funding for NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) must have their applications submitted by April 19, 2013, however applications are accepted throughout the entire year.

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News Release (October 7, 2012)

Beef cow at Little Horse Ranch.Little Horse Ranch - Surviving the Drought

September, 2012Drought. It is the word that has haunted farmers and ranchers across the country. This year, it has become a devastating reality for many. For Arizona agricultural producers, drought is something they have dealt with for over the past decade. Many learned to adapt and adjust their operations to drought conditions. However, there is a point where there isn’t much more a producer can do and the risk of losing their crops, livestock, and businesses lingers near.

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News Release (September, 2012)

NRCS Helps Residents in Shultz Fire Area Receive Better Protection from Potential FloodingNRCS Helps Residents in Shultz Fire Area Receive Better Protection from Potential Flooding

August 22, 2012The Schultz fire burned over 15,000 acres of the San Francisco Peaks in Coconino County in June 2010. After the fire, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided $868,000 in emergency assistance to help protect individual homes from severe flooding through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program.

However, severe soil erosion and flooding has continued to bring threats to the surrounding communities. Earlier this year, Coconino County requested additional assistance from NRCS to help provide long term protection.  The total estimated cost for treatment of public forest service land and private land is $8,590,000. NRCS is providing 75% of the funds, $6,442,000, and Coconino County is funding the remaining 25%, $2,147,500.

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News Release (August 22, 2012)

Conservation Innovation GrantsNRCS Announcing Grants to Help Farmers, Ranchers Adapt to Drought

August 21, 2012 The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of up to $5 million in grants to evaluate and demonstrate agricultural practices that help farmers and ranchers adapt to drought. NRCS is taking applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to help producers build resiliency into their production systems so they can adapt to climatic extremes, such as the historic drought impacting the nation.

NRCS is offering the grants to partnering entities to evaluate innovative, field-based conservation technologies and approaches. These technologies and/or approaches should lead to improvements such as enhancing the water-holding capacity in soils and installing drought-tolerant grazing systems, which will help farms and ranches become more resilient to drought.

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News Release (August 21, 2012)

Granite Creek Vineyard: A Model of ConservationGranite Creek Vineyard: A Model of Conservation

August 20, 2012 More and more people are finding organic foods readily available down the aisles of their local grocery store.  Kit and Robin Hoult do their part in contributing to the organic market.  They have been ahead of the curve and growing organically since 1974.  Starting with an abandoned dairy farm, a lonely cottonwood tree, and a passion for gardening, the farm is now beaming with life.  Their passion has continued to fuel the thriving 15 acre organic vineyard and produce garden for nearly four decades.

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News Release (August 20, 2012)

We care about soil healthManaging Soil Salinity in Agriculture

June 30, 2012 It is projected that the world’s population will expand to over 8.5 billion by 2025. To keep up with this growth agricultural production must increase by up to 50 percent. The increase in agricultural production is expected to be met by these three ways: 1) increase in average yields, 2) increase cropping intensity (double or triple cropping fields), and 3) increase the amount of arable land. It is estimated that the potential arable land in the world is over 8,000 million acres of which 46 percent or 3,700 million acres are currently farmed.  Bringing into production new lands will be expensive due to either high cost of irrigation development (most of the best land and water supplies are already taken), lack of available water, cost of new irrigation projects (world-wide some projects have had mixed performance results), and improper irrigation that degrades the quality of existing irrigated cropland. The two most common processes that degrade cropland are waterlogging and salinity. To manage soil salinity there are a few things you need to know.

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News Release (June 30, 2012)

Controlling dust to improve air quality.Controlling Dust to Improve Air Quality

May 23, 2012 Dust consists of particles, in the atmosphere, that come from various sources such as soil that is lifted by wind (such as our Haboobs-an unfortunate reality of our arid environment), volcanic eruptions, and pollution. Dust is comprised of various sized particles from sand grains that can pit your car’s windshield to particles that you cannot see. Particles that are not seen include the PM10 and PM2.5 sized particles.

PM10 is particulate matter that is ten micrometers or less in diameter (a human hair is about 70 micrometers). These are very small particles that can invade the natural defense mechanism of the human respiratory tract, penetrating deep into the lungs where it can be lodged. The Federal Clean Air Act requires that emissions from all significant sources in areas not meeting the National Ambient Air Quality Standards be controlled through effective programs.

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News Release (May 23, 2012)

National Water Quality InitiativeNRCS Announces Water Quality Conservation in San Pedro and Gila River Watersheds

May 8, 2012 The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces a new Water Quality Initiative committed to improving impaired waterways in Arizona. NRCS will manage the initiative by making financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers in the selected watersheds throughout the state.

Through this effort, eligible producers in the targeted areas of the San Pedro and Gila River watersheds can receive technical and financial assistance to implement conservation practices that help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities.

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News Release (May 8, 2012)
 

Southwestern Willow FlycatcherNRCS Announces Wildlife Conservation Efforts to Benefit the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

April 3, 2012 Landowners along Arizona’s riparian areas, will have an opportunity to apply for a new conservation funding source through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), announced recently by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The announcement of the Working Lands for Wildlife partnership creates a $33 million partnership nationwide with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to use innovative approaches to restore and protect the habitats for wildlife, including seven at-risk species and other vulnerable game species.

One of the targeted at-risk species is the southwestern willow flycatcher, a small bird that resides along riparian areas throughout Arizona. Flooding, development and other practices have reduced native willows that the bird relies on for its habitat and food supply.

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News Release (April 3, 2012)
 

Organic prgram applications due June 1, 2012Funding Available for Organic and Transitioning Organic Producers

April 3, 2012 Certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production are encouraged to apply for conservation funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Applications must be submitted by June 1 to be considered for 2012 funding through the NRCS organic initiative.

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News Release (April 3, 2012)
 

NRCS honors earthteam volunteers during National Volunteer Week!Honoring Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

April 3, 2012USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 15-21 by honoring Earth Team volunteers and expressing appreciation for their dedicated service and commitment to conservation. The Earth Team is NRCS’ volunteer workforce. Nationally, in fiscal year 2011, 22,000 Earth Team volunteers donated 435,653 hours of service totaling $9.3 million.

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News Release (April 3, 2012)
 

Improving Plant Community

April 3, 2012 Improving plant community productivity, structure and function is a resource concern which occurs across all of our land uses in Arizona. When referring to plant communities, productivity pertains to the weight of plant production as compared to what is expected for a healthy site. Structure refers to whether or not all of the representative plant types that would be expected on a healthy site are present.  Function refers to the ability of the vegetative groups to carry out their healthy life cycles and contribute to the plant community as a whole.

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News Release (April 3, 2012)

 

Reduce Nutrients in Surface and Ground Water

April 3, 2012 Proper use of nutrients, organic or inorganic types, is a conservation priority in Arizona.  Managing nutrients properly involves applying them in the correct amount, from the proper source, with appropriate placement, and at the appropriate time.  This is basically the 4 R’s of nutrient management—right rate, right source, right place, and right time.  Implementing the 4 R’s will help ensure fertilizer applications meet the crop yield objectives and minimize the potential for nutrients to degrade water supplies (surface and groundwater) and air quality.  To apply nutrients properly there a few things you need to know.

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News Release (April 3, 2012)

Snow survey team member evaluates snow levels.Arizona Snowpack Levels Below Average

March 9, 2012 The Arizona Basin Outlook Report released this week by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) shows the state snowpack to be at well below average levels. The federal agency monitors snow conditions in Arizona’s mountain watersheds each winter to estimate the amount of water available for spring and summer uses.


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News Release (March 9, 2012)

 

Reliable Livestock WaterReliable Livestock Water

February 14, 2012 Providing livestock easy access to a reliable source of clean, fresh water at all times is necessary in order for a livestock operation to be productive. NRCS has several stock water system practices that are designed to efficiently provide reliable water to livestock and wildlife and successfully allow for the implementation of a grazing management system. The benefits of supplying adequate watering facilities for livestock can be: improved livestock distribution to take advantage of available forage in remote areas, improved livestock health and production and providing for an improvement in vegetation and soil conditions in uplands and streams, rivers and ponds.

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News Release (February 14, 2012)

Conservation Stewardship ProgramUSDA Extends Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up to January 27

January 17, 2012USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White today announced that the cut-off date for the current Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) ranking period has been extended to January 27, 2012. Producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship are eligible for CSP payments.

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News Release (January 17, 2012)

 

We Care About Conservation:  Conservation Planning CampaignWe Care About Conservation:  AZ and AZ’s Conservation Districts Partner in Conservation Planning Campaign

January 17, 2012 The Arizona Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has partnered with Arizona’s Conservation Districts in a conservation planning campaign. Conservation planning is the fundamental starting point for maintaining and improving the natural resources that support agricultural production and the lifestyle we love and enjoy. Arizona NRCS and Arizona’s Conservation Districts care about conservation and are here to help agricultural producers conserve the resources and the lifestyle they love for future generations.

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News Release (January 17, 2012)

 

Conservation Innovation GrantsUSDA Announces Funding for Water Quality Markets: $10 Million Available for Projects Nationally: Due January 31, 2012

January 13, 2012Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a funding opportunity that will bring states, USDA and other stakeholders together to enhance the effectiveness of water quality credit trading. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing up to $10 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) for these projects, with up to $5 million focused on water quality credit trading in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Pre-proposals for projects are due January 31, 2012.

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News Release (January 13, 2012)

We Care About Irrigation EfficiencyImproving Irrigation Water Use Efficiency

January 3, 2012Wise use of irrigation water is one of our highest conservation priorities in Arizona. Irrigation water management is used to apply the amount of water needed, when it is needed by the crop. To improve irrigation efficiency on your farm, there are four things you need to know.

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News Release (January 3, 2012)

 

Snow survey team member evaluates snow levels.First 2012 Snow Survey Report Shows Above Normal Snowpack, Precipitation

January 1, 2012 NRCS released its first snow survey report for 2012. As of January 1, snowpack levels are generally well above normal throughout the state, with the exception of the Chuska Mountains. Precipitation for December was also well above normal in all major river basins. The Salt and Verde River reservoir system stands at 71 percent of capacity, while San Carlos Reservoir is at only two percent of capacity. The first forecast of the season calls for well below normal runoff in the Salt, Verde and Little Colorado River Basins, and below normal runoff in the San Francisco-Upper Gila River Basin for the spring runoff period.

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News Release (January 1, 2012)

 

Air Quality applications are due Nov. 1, 2011Assistance Available to Arizona Farmers, Ranchers to Improve Air Quality

December 13, 2011 Agriculture producers seeking to reduce PM10 (dust) and other forms of air pollution can apply for help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS has funding in Arizona, along with technical expertise, that is available to farmers and ranchers to improve air quality, through the Air Quality Enhancement Program, an Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) from the 2008 Farm Bill.

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News Release (December 13, 2011)

Organic applications due Nov. 1, 2011Funding Available for Organic and Transitioning Organic Producers

October 28, 2011Certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production are encouraged to apply for conservation funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Applications must be submitted by June 1, 2012 to be considered for 2012 funding through the NRCS organic initiative.

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News Release (October 28, 2011)

Energy applications are due Nov. 1, 2011Arizona On-Farm Energy Initiative: Funding Available for 2012

October 28, 2011Arizona 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, part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), is being offered for Fiscal Year 2012 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.

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News Release (October 28, 2011)

Applications due Nov. 1, 2011NOV. 1 Deadline For Farmers, Ranchers To Apply For Conservation Financial Help EQIP & WHIP Application Deadline

October 28, 2011 The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), with an application deadline of Nov. 1. NRCS will review applications from applicants who have completed a conservation plan and that are received by this date and rank them for fiscal year 2012 funding.

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News Release (October 28, 2011)

News AZ NRCS State Conservationist, Keisha TatemNRCS Arizona Welcomes New State Conservationist - Keisha Tatem

September 1, 2011 Keisha Brown Tatem, a native of Ivor, Virginia, began her professional career with NRCS as a Soil Conservationist Student Trainee in 1995. She spent over 10 years working directly with producers as a Soil Conservationist and District Conservationist in Virginia and Florida.

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News Release (September 1, 2011)

NRCS Provides Financial Help to Cochise County for Horseshoe Two Fire Recovery

August 8, 2011The potential for flooding and erosion is a serious threat to those in the areas consumed by the Horseshoe Two fire. To help reduce this flooding danger, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing more than $164,000 of financial help through its Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).

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News Release (August 8, 2011)
Wildfire Recovery Tips

NRCS and Greenlee County assess damages, determining what sites need urgent protection.

Greenlee County Receives Funds from NRCS for Wallow Fire Recovery

August 4, 2011The community of Blue, Arizona is small, however the community support and neighborly actions are undeniable. With their land burned from the Wallow fire, the community strives to protect their homes and property from flooding, the newest threat to the area. To help reduce flooding and erosion damages, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing $185,646 of financial help to Greenlee County through its Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).

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News Release (August 4, 2011)
Wildfire Recovery Tips

Apache County crews work to install concrete barriers to protect a home in Alpine. Apache County Receives Additional Funds from NRCS for Wallow Fire Recovery

July 26, 2011Severe flooding and erosion are serious threats to the communities impacted by the Wallow fire. To help reduce flooding and erosion damages, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing $90,300 of additional financial help to Apache County through its Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).

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News Release (July 26, 2011)
Wildfire Recovery Tips

NRCS staff work with landowners in the aftermath of the Monument fire.Cochise County Receives $131,000 from NRCS for Monument Fire Recovery

July 20, 2011Though the Monument fire reached full containment earlier this month, the burned area is at severe risk for excessive erosion and flooding. To help prevent possible damage from summer monsoon rain, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing $131,000 of financial help through its Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).

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News Release (July 20, 2011)
Wildfire Recovery Tips

Concrete barriers are installed by Apache County to direct water runoff in Alpine.Apache County Receives $400,000 from NRCS for Wallow Fire Recovery

July 14, 2011Where hundreds of thousands of acres were consumed by the largest wildfire in Arizona’s history, potential flooding and erosion now linger. To help reduce this flooding danger, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing $400,000 of financial help through its Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).

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News Release (July 14, 2011)
Wildfire Recovery Tips


Small organic vegetable farm in ArizonaOrganic Producers Eligible for Financial, Technical Help to Implement Conservation Practices

April 12, 2011 USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces another funding opportunity for certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production to implement resource conservation practices on their agricultural operations.  While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, the cutoff date for this application period is May 20, 2011.

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News Release (April 12, 2011)
Organic Initiative Program Information


April 1 Snow Report: Low RunoffSnowpack Melting Fast; Low Runoff Predicted

April 5, 2011Arizona’s mountain snowpack is melting fast due to a well below average snowpack and soaring temperatures over the past week. As a result, streamflow for the remainder of the spring runoff period is predicted to be well below normal.

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News Release (April 5, 2011)
Basin Outlook Reports


Yellow StarthistleInvasive Weeds Workshops: April-May 2011

April, 2011 If you have any of these five target species, you are eligible to participate in the Cochise, Graham & Greenlee Counties Invasive Weed Rapid Response Program at no cost.
Come and learn about the noxious, invasive weeds that can harm your property and your neighbor's!


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News Release (April, 2011)
 


Pbblo Zapada and Ian Yares, seniors at Gateway Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona volunteering.NRCS Honors Volunteers During National Volunteer Week: April 10-16, 2011

March 26, 2011 - National Volunteer Week is April 10-16, 2011. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating NationalVolunteer week by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. Earth Team is the agency’s official volunteer resource. Nationally in fiscal year 2010, nearly 30,000 people donated 641,549 hours of service to NRCS worth $13.4 million.

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News Release (March 26, 2011)
 


Dairy operations can receive help to reduce dust$2.4 Million Available to Arizona Farmers, Ranchers to Improve Air Quality

March 18, 2011 - Agriculture producers seeking to reduce PM10 (dust) and other forms of air pollution can apply for help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS has $2.4 million in Arizona, along with technical expertise, that is available to farmers and ranchers to improve air quality, through the Air Quality Enhancement Program, an Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) from the 2008 Farm Bill.

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News Release (March 18, 2011)
Air Quality Program Information


Arizona Snowpack LevelsArizona Snowpack Levels Below Average

March 8, 2011 The Arizona Basin Outlook Report released this week by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) shows the state snowpack to be at below average levels. The federal agency monitors snow conditions in Arizona’s mountain watersheds each winter to estimate the amount of water available for spring and summer uses.

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News Release (March 8, 2011)
Basin Outlook Reports


Northern Arizona Archaeological GroupNorthern Arizona Archaeological Group Wins Multi-State Award

Feb. 16, 2011 - Six Arizona volunteers are being recognized as winners of the NRCS Earth Team West Region Group Volunteer Award for 2011. David Bancroft, Darlene Brinkerhoff, Gloria Kurzhals, Ralf Kurzhals, Michael Overstreet and Dan Tobin all from Northern Arizona, are being recognized for their volunteer work with Archaeologist Miles Gilbert, of the St. Michaels Field Office, conducting archaeological surveys of 17,371 acres of Arizona pastureland.

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News Release (Feb. 16, 2011)


On-Farm Energy AuditsArizona On-Farm Energy Initiative: Funding Available for 2011

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.

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News Release (Feb. 14, 2011)


NRCS Easements Protect Agricultural Lands, Wetlands and Grasslands

Jan. 31, 2010 The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications though Feb. 28 for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) and Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).

WRP gives landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. NRCS provides technical and financial support to help landowners with their wetland restoration efforts.


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News Release (Jan. 31, 2011)


Organic farm in ArizonaFunding Available for Organic and Transitioning Organic Producers

Jan. 19, 2010 – Certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production are encouraged to apply for conservation funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Applications must be submitted by March 4 to be considered for current funding through the NRCS organic initiative.

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News Release (Jan.19, 2011)


Discrimination Resolution

March 1, 2011 Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Assistant Attorney General West Announce Process to Resolve Discrimination Claims of Hispanic and Women Farmers

En Español (PDF)