Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NRCS Announces Sign-Up Deadlines for Four Programs

The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced sign-up deadlines for four popular programs that offer financial and technical assistance to Missouri landowners. While sign up for the programs is continuous, only those who sign up by the listed dates will be eligible for the next round of funding, says State Conservationist J.R. Flores.

The programs and funding deadlines are:

November 19
€ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
€ Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)

November 30
€ Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
€ Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

EQIP promotes agricultural production and environmental quality. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers receive financial and technical assistance to help install structural conservation practices and to implement management systems that promote conservation.

WHIP enhances habitat on eligible land for upland and wetland wildlife, threatened and endangered species, and other types of wildlife identified as rare or declining species. Many types of land, including grassland, woodland, wetlands, stream and riparian areas, agricultural land and non-agricultural land may be eligible for WHIP funds.

WRP provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners to increase wetlands. WRP participants limit their future use of the land, but retain private ownership. Participating landowners can select permanent easements, 30-year easements, or cost-share agreements to restore wetland functions and values without placing an easement on enrolled acres.

GRP offers landowners financial incentives to keep land as grassland. They may receive payment in exchange for permanent easements, or receive annual rental payments for 10 years, 15 years or 20 years. Applicants must offer at least 40 contiguous acres of grassland and have a grazing management plan.

"These programs provide a lot of benefits to the people of Missouri, and not only to the farmers and ranchers who sign up for them," Flores says. "They offer both on-site and off-site benefits, including reducing soil erosion, protecting water quality, increasing wildlife habitat, enhancing soil quality, reducing flooding, and even providing cleaner air to breathe."

To sign up for EQIP, WHIP, WRP and GRP or to get more information about these and other NRCS programs, contact the NRCS office serving your county. Look in the phone book under "U.S. Government, Department of Agriculture," or access this website: http://offices.usda.gov. You can also get information about NRCS programs online.

No comments:

Post a Comment