February 13, 2019 / Uncategorized / Jamie Tiralla
Annapolis, Md., January 15, 2019 — Maryland farmers and forest landowners can now apply for assistance to protect the health and productivity of their land through federal conservation programs.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to plan and install conservation practices on cropland, pastureland, and non-industrial private forestland. NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at specific times. Maryland has established February 15, 2019 as the next deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Agricultural Management Assistance program (AMA), and EQIP applications for Regional Conservation Partnership Program projects.
EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and forestland owners to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water quality, reduced soil erosion, and improvements in soil health, wildlife habitat, plant and animal communities and energy conservation. AMA is designed help with irrigation systems and high tunnels. Maryland currently offers RCPP in select areas across the state through local projects that range in focus, from animal waste management practices, to improving soil health, to wildlife habitat restoration.
During a government shutdown, agencies that receive mandatory funding or have funds appropriated in prior years that are carried forward can continue to serve customers using that money. NRCS is in this category and is open for business.
A conservation plan should be completed before an application can be considered for funding, so farmers are encouraged to call or stop by their local NRCS field office as soon as possible. You can find your local office by visiting https://www.farmers.gov/service-locator or in the phone book under Federal Government, U.S. Department of Agriculture. A complete list of eligible activities is available on the NRCS Maryland website at www.md.nrcs.usda.gov.