NRCS Sets November 20 Deadline for Missouri
(COLUMBIA, MO) October 6, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced November 20 as the first cut-off date to apply for fiscal year 2016 funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
“EQIP provides tremendous support to Missouri farmers, ranchers, and landowners interested in addressing natural resource problems on their land,” State Conservationist J.R. Flores said. “Voluntary conservation efforts through EQIP improve the quality of natural resources while also making a significant difference in the lives of Missouri’s farming and ranching families.”
EQIP allows farmers, ranchers, forestland managers and landowners to conserve natural resources by making available financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities, such as cover crops, rotational grazing systems, field buffers and animal waste management systems.
General EQIP provides opportunities for financial assistance statewide to applicants who have natural resource problems on their land, including concerns associated with crops, soil health, livestock, forest and wildlife. EQIP also offers special initiatives such as the On-Farm Energy Initiative, Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, Organic Initiative, Ozark Highlands Restoration Partnership and Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
The On-Farm Energy Initiative provides financial assistance, statewide, for farmers and ranchers to identify ways to conserve energy on their farms through on-farm energy audits, and financial assistance to implement recommendations identified in the energy audits.
The Organic Initiative provides financial assistance, statewide, for farmers to install conservation measures on agricultural operations related to organic production.
The Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative provides financial assistance, statewide, for farmers to construct seasonal high tunnels, which extend the growing seasonal for high-value crops in an environmentally safe manner.
The Missouri Ozark Highlands Restoration Partnership provides financial assistance to help landowners improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where Mark Twain National Forest and private lands meet in southern Missouri. Forest landowners in 27 Missouri counties are eligible to apply for funds to develop and implement forest management plans.
Six Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects will be available in fiscal year 2016. Local partners were awarded RCPP funds to deliver conservation projects in specific regions across the state. The Missouri projects included in this announcement are: Little Otter Creek Watershed Project, in partnership with the Caldwell County Commission; Our Missouri Waters, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; Regional Grassland Bird and Grazing Land Enhancement Initiative, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation; Restoring Glade and Woodland Communities for Threatened Species in the Ozarks of Southeast Missouri, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation; Northwest Missouri Urban and Rural Farmers United for Conservation, in partnership with the Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District; and Rice Stewardship, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
NRCS accepts applications for all of its programs on a continuous basis, but farmers must file applications for these programs by November 20 to be eligible for the next round of funding. Farmers can submit applications at local NRCS offices. NRCS also offers free technical assistance to all Missouri residents.
For more information about NRCS programs and assistance, visit http://www.mo.nrcs.usda.gov or contact the NRCS office serving your county. NRCS employees in county offices can provide more information about how to apply for benefits offered by NRCS.
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