Time to apply for farm funding
Nov. 15 is the extended application cutoff date for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program for fiscal year 2014.
Applications accepted after Nov. 15 may be considered for funding if additional application rounds are announced or for potential consideration in 2015. All applications are competitive and are ranked based on national, state, and locally identified resource priorities and the overall benefit to the environment, according to a release from the New York Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Although a new Farm Bill has yet to be approved, 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 that they intend to address. Once further guidance on the 2013 Farm Bill is provided, NRCS will work with applicants to transfer applications to the appropriate conservation program.
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 soil health, livestock waste, habitat, forestry, and grazing.
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program helps participants restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat in grassland and shrubland areas.
Those interested in applying for a conservation program may go online to http://www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/general_information/how_to_apply.html or visit the local NRCS field office, which can be located using the web site: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=NY. For Albany County and Rensselaer County, the NRCS Office is located at the USDA Service Center, 61 State Street, Troy, NY 12180. You may also call the Albany County SWCD Office at 765-7923.