Alabama NRCS Announces Sign-up Cutoff Dates for Key Farm Bill Program
AUBURN, Ala., January 14, 2009 – State Conservationist Gary Kobylski with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces January 30, 2009, as the cutoff date for several resource concerns under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applying for EQIP is continuous; however, selecting applications for funding is completed periodically through batching periods with specific cutoff dates.
EQIP is a voluntary 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.
The 2008 Farm Bill authorized Special Emphasis funding for two new areas: Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Kobylski said “In Alabama, we have allocated special statewide funds to these areas along with Limited Resource Farmers and Small Scale Farmers. These two new special emphasis areas along with Limited Resource Farmers are eligible for increased payment rates. The sign-up for these special emphasis areas is continuous, but the batching date for current applications is January 30, 2009.”
Kobylski also announced sign-up for the new Precision Farming Incentive. This is a continuous sign-up with a batching date of February 13, 2009. Cropland producing annually planted crops in the following counties is eligible for 2009: Baldwin, Barbour, Cherokee, Coffee, Colbert, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Mobile, Monroe, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, and Madison.
The Precision Farming Incentive is designed to encourage the adoption of variable-rate application of nutrients and pesticides and promote the use of GPS-enabled precision agricultural technology and equipment. The goals of the Precision Farming Incentive include improving water quality by targeting areas for reduced nutrient and pesticide application, reducing runoff and leaching of pesticides, enhancing soil quality through reduced erosion and soil compaction and energy conservation through accurate and efficient application of crop inputs.
Eligibility requirements on EQIP are available on the
Alabama NRCS website under “Programs” (http://www.al.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip09/index09.html).
For more information, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office, listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture.