Farmers’ crop signup ongoing

Published 8:05 am Thursday, September 22, 2011

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Pike County is holding signups for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2012 Fiscal Year.

The signup is being on held on a continuous basis until the cutoff date Sept. 30, 2011.

Any eligible land user who has a resource concern or problem on pastureland, cropland hay land or forestland may apply for assistance through this program,” Hale said.

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Applications may be made at the Pike County USDA Service Center at 22 Henderson Highway from 7:30 a.m. until noon and from 1 until 4 p.m.

“The USDA work group has prioritized the resource concerns in Pike County as forest health and wildlife, soil quality/erosion control, irrigation water management, grazing lands and water quality/animal waste,” Hale said. “All applications will be scored by the local, state and national ranking criteria, which will result in an environmental point score.

“Multiple resource concerns will receive high consideration.”

Approval will be given to the applications that will provide the greatest environmental benefits. Contracts will be developed for approved applications in order of descending environmental points until all funds are obligated.

Hale said applications will be batched and ranked with the first batching period for ranking and prioritizing applications on Sept. 30 and additional batching periods will be announced as needed.

Eligible practices approved by the Pike County USDA work group are critical area planting, land smoothing, pasture planting, pipeline, spring development, terrace, watering facilities, underground outlet and water and sediment control basin.

Eligible practices with restrictions are waste storage facility (dry stacks), pond (dug out only), fence (cross-fence only), irrigation water management (high pressure to drop nozzles or sprinkler nozzles replacement on center pivots), tree/shrub site preparation (loblolly, medium) tree/shrub establishment (loblolly, light) and water well (only for livestock in permanent pastures).

Payment rates for practice application will be according to an established state rate scale. Limited resource, socially disadvantage and new or beginning farmers will be paid at an increased rate.

For additional information, call 334-566-2300, extension 3.