Conservation sign-up offered

Arizona farmers and ranchers have another chance to sign-up for a program that can help pay for installing or implementing conservation management practices on their land.

USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is conducting a second round of sign-ups, Nov. 2 until Jan. 16, for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The first sign-up period ended Nov. 1. EQIP provides funds and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers reduce soil erosion, improve water use and protect grazing land by installing conservation practices that protect natural resources.

“We have the funds and we want to give our producers another opportunity to participate,” said Eric Banks, NRCS programs manager.

NRCS field employees' conduct a resource assessment of each applicant's land uses to determine resource problems.

Up to 50 percent cost share is available, with a payment limitation of $450,000 per individual or entity for fiscal year 2006 contracts. Eligible tribes and individual tribal members can get 75 percent cost share and Limited Resource Producers and Beginning Farmers can obtain up to 90 percent cost share.

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