Monday, December 5, 2016
Agricultural producers urged to sign-up for federal assistance program
ALBUQUERQUE — Assistant State Conservationist Kris Graham Chavez of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Mexico announced Wednesday that a sign-up for fiscal year 2017 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is underway and all New Mexico agricultural producers should consider applying for financial assistance under special conservation initiatives. The sign up deadline is Dec. 16. While producers can apply year round for EQIP assistance, this application cutoff announcement is specific to the following nine National Initiatives, two State Initiatives and two Local Programs that are Organic, On-Farm Energy, Conservation Activity Plans, Ogallala National Initiative, StrikeForce, Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Initiative, Drought Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, New Mexico State Acequia Initiative, New Mexico Watershed Initiative, FY 2017 General EQIP and 2016 North Central RCPP. Producers can apply by visiting their local USDA Service Center and submitting their Conservation Program Application (NRCS-CPA-1200). Producers who have established a Client Gateway account may submit their application online. Producers need to receive a farm and tract number from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) by the application deadline. “We want New Mexico farmers and ranchers to know that we are ready to assist producers get conservation on the ground and hope they will take this time to stop by their local NRCS office to discuss their current conservation needs," Chavez said. "If one of these initiatives does not fit the needs of the customer, the field office staff will be happy to discuss a conservation plan and financial assistance that will be available in Fiscal Year 2018 that would fit their operation." EQIP provides a targeted, science-based approach to restoring and protecting habitat while strengthening rural economies and cultivating collaboration among conservation partners. EQIP provides a flat rate payment to producers to install conservation practices, such as Range Planting, Windbreaks, Residue Management No-Till, Riparian Forest Buffers, Watering Facilities, Fence, Tree Planting, and Wildlife Habitat Management. NRCS provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment. For more information about NRCS New Mexico visit NRCS New Mexico.