October 20, 2006
Those wanting to "equip" themselves with the latest conservation technologies and federal funding to see them to fruition will need to act soon.
The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas has set a Dec. 15, 2006, sign-up deadline for the 2007 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
"The funds allocated for EQIP will help farmers and ranchers improve natural resources on private working lands in Texas," said Dr. Larry Butler, NRCS state conservationist for Texas. "The program provides cost-share and incentive payments to producers applying approved conservation measures that help solve natural resource problems."
Natural resource concerns are established in each county by local work groups, who identify the most important natural resource issues in the area. Through EQIP, NRCS also funds projects that address special statewide resource concerns recommended by the Texas State Technical Committee. The 2007 statewide resource concerns are animal waste, invasive species, plant condition, water quality, water quantity and wildlife emphasis areas.
Immediately following the end of the sign-up period, all applications will be ranked. Producers with an approved application will work with an NRCS conservation planner to develop a contract and a plan and will begin implementing conservation practices next spring.
Local NRCS field offices have complete details for their county and the applicable state concerns. Additional information, including ranking criteria, eligible practices and cost-share rates for all programs can also be found on the Texas NRCS website at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.