USDA Incentives for Sustainable Producers

Here is the latest in government programs to help producers become more sustainable:

Opportunities Available Now for Conservation Assistance and Funding
Act now before October 29, 2010 cut-off date

GAINESVILLE, September 2, 2010 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida has set a cutoff date of October 29, 2010, to submit applications for several voluntary conservation programs that may help eligible participants pay for conservation practices to prevent soil erosion, improve water quality, restore wetlands and provide habitat for wildlife.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Through EQIP, NRCS develops contracts with agricultural producers to voluntarily implement conservation practices. Persons engaged in livestock or agricultural production and owners of non-industrial private forestland are eligible for the program. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands.
The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for developing or improving high quality habitat that supports fish and wildlife populations of National, State, Tribal, and local significance. Through WHIP, the NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to private and Tribal landowners for the development of upland, wetland, aquatic, and other types of wildlife habitat.
The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands in exchange for retiring eligible land from agriculture.
The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a program for landowners and operators to protect grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, shrubland, and certain other lands.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land. CSP encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.
NRCS encourages interested parties to visit with our staff as soon as possible. Applicants who apply early have more time to resolve any program or land eligibility issues.
Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, Florida NRCS has established a cut-off date of October 29, 2010 for evaluation and ranking of eligible applications for the 2011 program year.
For more information on conservation assistance contact your local NRCS Field Office listed in the telephone directory under “U. S. Government” or

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