EQIP funds available to Ohio farmers

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering more than $13 million in financial assistance for fiscal 2013 to help Ohio producers implement conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

The deadline for the next sign-up period in Ohio is Jan. 18, 2013. A second sign-up deadline will occur on Feb. 15, if funding is available. Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center for information.

EQIP provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities, such as nutrient management, reduced tillage, field buffers, rotational grazing systems and much more.

Special programs

Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives through EQIP, including:

On-Farm Energy Initiative: helps producers conserve energy on their operations.

Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative: helps producers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season into the cold months, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.

Organic Initiative: helps producers to install conservation practices on certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.

Air Quality Initiative: helps producers address air quality concerns through establishing conservation practices such as cover crops, windbreaks, nutrient management and other conservation measures that mitigate and prevent air quality problems.

Applicants can sign up at their local NRCS service center. To find the center nearest you, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?agency=nrcs.

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