Community Agriculture Alliance: Deadline looms for landowner grant program

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Need help addressing your natural resource concerns? The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for 2013 funding in its Environmental Quality Incentives Program. EQIP is a voluntary program that provides assistance to landowners and agricultural producers in a manner that encourages agricultural production and environmental quality. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers receive financial and technical support to implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns while providing opportunities to enhance soil, water, plant, animal, air, energy and human-related resources on agricultural and non-industrial private forest land.

Incentive payments are contracted to offset costs associated with the installation and expense of materials used to address these concerns or enhance the overall sustainability of an operation. A conservation plan and subsequent incentive payments may address things such as improving irrigation efficiency, reducing soil erosion, improving grazing management, enhancing wildlife habitat, buffering riparian areas, addressing forest management/health concerns and developing water for livestock.

If you own or operate land in agricultural or forest production or are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and have a natural resource concern, you may be eligible for participation. The application cutoff date for 2013 EQIP funding is July 2. Any applications received after that date will be considered for 2014 funding. Stop by the local field office at 1475 Pine Grove Road for more information and to pick up an application. For more information, call 970-879-3225, ext. 3.

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