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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Accepting 2020 EQIP Applications through February 28, 2020

LITTLE ROCK, January 28, 2020 – Farmers and landowners in Arkansas have until Feb. 28, 2020, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation activities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2020 program year.  Applicants can sign up at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field service center.

Assistance is available to help farmers and landowners plan and implement conservation practices to improve water quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, establish or improve wildlife habitat and achieve other environmental benefits on the landscape.  NRCS accepts program applications continuously. However, to be considered for funding during this signup applications must be received by Feb. 28, 2020.  Applications received after this date will be considered in later funding periods, subject to funding availability.

EQIP contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices to improve soil health, water quality, improve grazing and forest lands, and establish or improve wildlife habitat. EQIP can also help Arkansas farmers and landowners meet Federal, State, and local environmental regulations.

Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives, including:

• Organic Initiative – helps producers install conservation practices on certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification

• On-Farm Energy Initiative – helps producers conserve energy on their operations

• StrikeForce Initiative – addressing needs in 48 persistent poverty counties to more effectively use conservation programs

• Seasonal high tunnel system – designed to help producers extend the growing season, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature, and conserve water and energy

All applications will be evaluated for funding based on local, state and nationally developed criteria to optimize environmental benefits. Applications ranking highest in a funding category will be funded according to priority and is subject to availability of program funds.

For more information, visit http://www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/ or contact the local USDA/NRCS field service center.

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