Chautauqua County farmers and landowners have until Nov. 16 to apply for 2013 conservation program funding.
The programs falling within the deadline include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, 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. 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 concerns 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."
The 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.
The 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.
The 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/. For more information about applying for a conservation program, visit www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/general-information/how-to-apply.html. Applications are also accepted at the local NRCS field office in the Franklin W. Bratt Agricultural Building, 3542 Turner Road, Jamestown.