Local service announces sign-up period for three conservation initiatives

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By The Staff

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that the first of three ranking period cut-off dates for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic, High Tunnel (Hoop Houses) and On-Farm Energy Initiatives is Feb. 3.
Producers interested in any of these three programs should submit applications to the local NRCS office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.
The organic initiative will focus on individuals who are currently certified organic or are transitioning to become certified organic.
NRCS provides assistance to eligible producers for installation of conservation practices on agricultural operations related to organic production.
The Season High Tunnel (Hoop House) Initiative will assist producers to extend the growing season for high-value crops in an environmentally safe manner. This initiative will also assist in improving plant quality, soil quality, air quality, reducing nutrient and pesticide transport, along with reducing energy use as well.
The On-Farm Energy Initiative will be used to specifically address energy conservation through practice implementation and for development of energy conservation plans.
The first ranking period cut-off date as mentioned is Feb. 3. The second cut-off ranking date is March 30 with the third cut-off date being June 1.
For more information, visit the NRCS website or contact NRCS District Conservationist Paul Veech at 484-3979 ext 101.