State Conservationist Gary Kobylski today announced a continuous sign-up for the Fiscal Year 2009 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Alabama landowners, including limited resource producers and new or beginning farmers, who have resource concerns on pasture land, cropland, forest or land used for wildlife are encouraged to participate.
"Even though program rules are still being developed in Washington, we are urging local farmers and ranchers to apply as early as possible," said Kobylski. "By accepting EQIP applications now, we can develop conservation plans and be well positioned to provide contracts to producers when the rules are disseminated."
The EQIP program, administered by NRCS, provides technical and financial assistance to individuals interested in addressing soil, water, air and related natural resource concerns on their operations.
EQIP generally supports a wide variety of activities: the establishment of permanent covers, erosion control, grazing protection, wildlife habitat enhancement, soil quality and various water quality protection systems. Forestry practices which are generally supported include tree planting, forest stand improvement, site preparation for natural regeneration and forest stand analysis leading to better forest management.
The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) expanded the purpose of EQIP to include forest management, energy conservation, as well as practices related to organic production and fuel management.
For more information, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office, listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture.