Farmers in Belmont, Monroe counties can get money to improve environment

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BARNESVILLE, Ohio – Funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program will soon be allocated to Belmont and Monroe counties to assist farmers interested in implementing environmental protection measures on their land.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service administers the program. To receive assistance from the service, farmers must apply for the program at the USDA Service Center in Barnesville. Application selections are scheduled for late February and mid-May.
Prior year applications to the program must be resubmitted with updated signatures to be considered for funding in 2006. Early sign-up is encouraged to allow time to review and rank the applications, and prepare the conservation plans.
Priority. A plan to implement conservation practices addressing the statewide natural resource concerns of water, soil and air quality, and wildlife habitat recovery, in addition to addressing the locally established natural resource concerns, will increase an applicant’s chance of receiving funding.
“In Belmont and Monroe Counties, priority will be given to applicants that implement conservation practices that address soil and water quality that is impaired or potentially impaired by livestock activities,” said Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist Jeff Bettinger.
This year, grazing operations are being targeted for funding. An incentive payment is available to livestock producers for developing a comprehensive nutrient management plan or a grazing plan.
While the program focuses on working agricultural lands, some funding will be available for forestry conservation practices on private land.
Details. To apply for or learn more about the program, visit the USDA Service Center in Barnesville or call 740-425-1100.

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