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News Release

NRCS Announces Irrigation Pilot in Alabama’s Black Belt Counties

Release No.: 0000011.17

Printable Version

AUBURN, February 17, 2017 – USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Alabama Ben Malone announced a new irrigation pilot that will target small, underserved vegetable operations in the State’s Black Belt region. The irrigation pilot, which is funded under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), will target producers in the following StrikeForce counties: Dallas, Wilcox, Marengo, Hale, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, Greene, Lowndes, Monroe, and Butler. Through the StrikeForce Initiative, NRCS is working with more farmers and ranchers than ever in communities that face persistent poverty.

Irrigation StrikForce CountiesThe irrigation pilot project is a joint effort between NRCS and The United Christian Community Association (TUCCA), a local community based organization that has identified specific conservation needs for vegetable producers in the area. TUCCA has received a 2501 grant to provide hands on technical assistance to eligible farmers. Through this project, NRCS and the association will work with producers on implementing conservation practices that will improve irrigation efficiency for their cash crop operations.

"This irrigation pilot will help us identify vegetable producers who can benefit by making improvements to their vegetable crop irrigation systems. By improving irrigation efficiency, these producers will have the ability to achieve higher crop yields in addition to improving soil quality,” said State Conservationist Ben Malone.

Eligible vegetable producers are encouraged to visit their local USDA Service Center to sign up between February 17, 2017 and March 17, 2017.

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