MALONE - New York farmers and landowners have until Nov. 16 to apply for 2013 conservation program funding.
The programs falling within this deadline include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative, the Agricultural Management Assistance Program, and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. Applications are competitive and ranked based on national, state and locally identified resource priorities and their overall benefit to the environment.
Although the 2012 Farm Bill has yet to be approved, proposed legislation indicated that it will contain similar conservation programs to those offered under the 2008 Farm Bill. At this time, applicants may still apply for funding through the same programs offered through the 2008 Farm Bill. At the time of application, applicants must specify the resource concern(s) that they intend to address. Once further guidance on the 2012 Farm Bill is provided, NRCS will transfer applications to the appropriate conservation program.
"NRCS is proud to offer cost-assistance to the dedicated landowners of New York who actively work to improve the water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat on their land," said Donald Pettit NRCS State Conservationist. "Each year NRCS offers a variety of programs to help landowners address a wide range of conservation needs."
Environmental Quality Incentives Program offers financial assistance for practices which address soil erosion, water quality and habitat degradation. Practices implemented through EQIP include strip cropping, grassed waterways and manure storage facilities. Focus areas within the EQIP program include livestock waste, cropland, and grazing. Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative assists producers to help minimize excess nutrients and sediments in order to restore, preserve and protect the Chesapeake Bay. In New York, the Bay program offers funding and technical assistance to producers in the priority areas of the Upper Susquehanna Watershed.
Agricultural Management Assistance Program focuses on improving irrigation efficiency through micro-irrigation. A primary goal of the program is to assist agricultural producers in mitigating risk through production diversification.
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program helps participants develop fish and wildlife habitat. In New York there are two focus areas: grassland and shrubland.
General information regarding NRCS New York Conservation Programs can be found at www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.