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News Release

PA Farmers Encouraged to Apply for Conservation Assistance

Pennsylvania agricultural producers and landowners are encouraged to apply for technical and financial assistance to improve and enhance natural resources on their farm and forest land. Funding is available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The following RCPP projects have funding available for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or Land Management projects in Pennsylvania:

Partnership for Chesapeake Bay Water Quality (Lead Partner: Chester County Conservation District)

Producers can apply for RCPP-EQIP funding in Chester county, in cooperation with the Chester County Conservation District’s Partnership for Chesapeake Bay Water Quality project. NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines. Since this has been an-ongoing project since 2019, producers with applications submitted by October 29 will meet the first cut-off and have a higher chance of receiving funding. Applications received after that date will be accepted and considered for funding in additional ranking review cycles, if funds remain. The next cut-offs will be December 30, 2021 and February 28, 2022. See attached map.

 

Implementing Conservation Practices and Certified Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs) on Pennsylvania Preserved Farms (Lead Partner: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture)

Producers can apply for RCPP-EQIP funding in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry and York counties for on-farm water quality improvement practices. NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines. Since this has been an-ongoing project since 2019, producers with applications submitted by October 29 will meet the first cut-off and have a higher chance of receiving funding. Applications received after that date will be accepted and considered for funding in additional ranking review cycles, if funds remain. The next cut-offs will be December 30, 2021 and February 28, 2022. See attached map.

Ag BMP Implementation in the Chesapeake Bay (Lead Partner: Berks County Conservation District)

Producers can apply for funding for RCPP Land Management in the Little Swatara Creek and Conestoga Watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed area of Berks County to address field sediment, nutrient and pathogen loss, and storage and handling of pollutants and improve aquatic habitat. NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines. Since this was a new project in 2021, producers with applications submitted by December 30 will meet the first cut-off and have a higher chance of receiving funding. Applications received after that date will be accepted and considered for funding in additional ranking review cycles, if funds remain. The next cut-off will be February 28, 2022.  See attached map.

 

Buffalo Creek Conservation Alliance (Lead Partner: Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania)

Producers can apply for funding for RCPP Land Management in the Buffalo Creek Watershed in Armstrong, Allegheny, and Butler Counties to improve water quality and wildlife and aquatic habitat. NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines. Since this was a new project in 2021, producers with applications submitted by December 30 will meet the first cut-off and have a higher chance of receiving funding. Applications received after that date will be accepted and considered for funding in additional ranking review cycles, if funds remain. The next cut-off will be February 28, 2022. See attached map.

Lancaster’s Common Agenda for Clean Water (Lead Partner: Conservation Foundation of Lancaster County)

Producers can apply for funding for RCPP Land Management in the Conestoga, Pequea, Chiques, and Octoraro Watersheds in Lancaster County to address field sediment, nutrient and pathogen loss, aquatic habitat, and storage and handling of pollutants. NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines. Since this was a new project in 2021, producers with applications submitted by December 30 will meet the first cut-off and have a higher chance of receiving funding. Applications received after that date will be accepted and considered for funding in additional ranking review cycles, if funds remain. The next cut-off will be February 28, 2022. See attached map.

NRCS conservationists will work with producers to develop a conservation plan on their land to identify concerns and opportunities, help determine objectives, and recommend solutions. “Our high-quality, comprehensive conservation plans can provide farmers with step-by-step recommendations they can use to improve their water quality, soil health and more -- all while reducing input costs,” said Denise Coleman, Pennsylvania NRCS State Conservationist.

Interested producers should visit their local USDA NRCS service center (found at http://offices.usda.gov for sign-up information.

To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farmers or farm or forest landowners and must meet eligibility criteria. To take advantage of NRCS technical assistance and expertise or federally funded conservation on your farm or land, please contact your local USDA NRCS Field Office (found at http://offices.usda.gov, and visit our website at www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov for program information.