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News Release

USDA announces 2019 application ranking dates for conservation programs

Contact:
Diane Petit, Public Affairs Officer
401-822-8843, cell 413-835-1276


A high tunnel and fall crops.

WARWICK, RI, Jan. 9, 2019 –- Do you own or manage farmland or forest land in Rhode Island? Could you use some technical and financial help in managing it more effectively? The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) encourages you to sign up for conservation assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance program. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year, however the next ranking batching date will be February 15, 2019.

You may apply for NRCS conservation programs at any time; complete applications are ranked for funding in batches periodically throughout the year. All applications determined eligible and high priority by close of business on February 15th, 2019 will be considered in the first funding cycle. For more information on available programs, the application process, and natural resource priorities, visit the Rhode Island NRCS website at www.ri.nrcs.usda.gov.

The following application ranking batching dates, pending available funds, are scheduled:

  • February 15, 2019
  • March 15, 2019
  • April 19, 2019
  • May 17, 2019
  • June 21, 2019
  • July 19, 2019

Batching dates and the application process are subject to change. Contact your local field office for the latest information.

“If you operate a farm or manage forest land and want to improve your land, we can help,” said Pooh Vongkhamdy, State Conservationist for NRCS in Rhode Island. “A planner will discuss with you your vision for your land and will explain the conservation planning process and how to apply for financial assistance.”

EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and forest land owners to address natural resource concerns through an array of conservation practices. Assistance is available to support private land owners and managers in addressing farm, field, forest, wildlife, water, and/or plant management issues including:

  • Erosion control
  • Irrigation systems
  • Fencing grazing systems
  • Farm and forestry conservation plans
  • Forest stand improvement
  • Grazing plans
  • Pasture and hayland planting
  • Pollinator habitat
  • Protection of heavy use areas for livestock
  • Riparian buffers
  • Seasonal high tunnels
  • Waste storage facilities
  • Restoration and management of declining habitat (oyster reef restoration)
  • Wildlife habitat management and development
  • Soil health management plans

The AMA program provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.

Rhode Island producers may construct or improve water management structures or irrigation structures; plant trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality; and mitigate risk through production diversification or resource conservation practices, including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transition to organic farming.

AMA is available in 16 states where Federal Crop Insurance Program participation is historically low: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

For more information, contact your local conservation district or the USDA-NRCS Rhode Island office:

Eastern RI Conservation District
Serving Newport and Bristol counties
401-934-0842

Northern RI Conservation District
Serving Providence County
401-934-0840

Southern RI Conservation District
Serving Kent and Washington counties
401-500-0422

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
60 Quaker Lane, Suite 46
Warwick, RI 02886
www.ri.nrcs.usda.gov
NRCSInfo@ri.usda.gov
401-822-8848

Some of the EQIP funding will be provided to farmers and forest landowners via the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which encourages partner organizations to join in efforts with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales. Through the RCPP program, NRCS and its partners help producers install and maintain conservation activities in selected project areas. Partners leverage RCPP funding in project areas and report on the benefits achieved.

NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with conservation districts and the people of Rhode Island to improve and protect soil, water and other natural resources.