Farmers can apply for assistance to help solve natural resources problems

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Agricultural producers looking to solve natural resource problems on their farms should apply now for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program administered by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Minnesota NRCS announced that a scoring period to determine priority for funding applications will occur at the end of February 2010. Nearly $22 million is available to assist producers.

According to Edward Moffett, district conservationist, completed applications must be received at local NRCS Field Offices throughout Minnesota by Feb. 26 in order to be considered for this scoring period.

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Through EQIP, landowners interested in conservation practices are provided both technical assistance and financial assistance to install eligible practices.

Participation in EQIP is limited to agricultural producers. Organic producers, limited resource farmers, beginning farmers, and underserved farmers were designated in the 2008 Farm Bill as focused outreach groups and may benefit from EQIP. EQIP provides assistance for a wide variety of conservation practices treating cropland, grazing, forestry, feedlots, and wildlife.

For more information about EQIP, visit your local USDA Service Center or visit our website at: http://www, Freeborn County landowners and operators can call 373-5607, ext. 3, or stop by the Ag Service Center located at 1400 W. Main St., Albert Lea.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.