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Applications for conservation programs being accepted

By Messenger Staff | Published Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Applications for funding opportunities with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) are currently being accepted at all NRCS offices across Texas.

NRCS in Texas has received its initial allocation of EQIP funding for 2013 and will begin ranking and obligating EQIP contracts after Feb. 15. All agriculture producers interested in submitting an EQIP contract application for 2013 should do so before this ranking deadline.

EQIP is a voluntary, continuous sign-up program that allows landowners or operators to apply for financial and technical assistance for the application of specific conservation practice. Contracts are offered periodically depending on budgetary allocations. Applications made after the deadline will be considered in the next funding cycle. Higher priority will be given to those applications that address national, state and local priorities and provide higher cost efficiency.

NRCS encourages any person interested in participating in their programs to contact their local field office, usually located at the county seat.

EQIP offers technical and financial help to install or implement structural, vegetative and management practices that can benefit the soil, water, air, plants, livestock and wildlife. Each county in the state is funded yearly to assist producers financially with these land management practices.

Last year, NRCS in Texas funded more than 4,000 EQIP contracts with $76 million to accomplish conservation practices such as irrigation efficiency, minimum tillage, brush management and more on 2.1 million acres across the entire state.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, call the USDA Service Center office serving the county where your land is located. The NRCS office in Wise County is located at 1604 W. Bus. 380 in Decatur. The phone number is (940) 627-2268, ext. 3. Information about EQIP and other NRCS programs can be found at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.

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