HARRISBURG, PA, September 14,
2015– The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is
accepting applications to help producers improve water and air
quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest
lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and
achieve other environmental benefits.
NRCS NRCS will be able to provide funding assistance
directly to Pennsylvania farmers and landowners in Fiscal Year
2016 to help them implement conservation practices through the
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the
agency’s largest Farm Bill conservation program, the
Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program, and the
Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Interested
producers should visit their local
NRCS service center
for sign-up information.
“USDA conservation programs offer farmers and forestland managers a variety of options to conserve natural resources while boosting production on their lands,” State Conservationist Denise Coleman said. “This conservation investment helps improve environmental health and the economy of Pennsylvania’s rural communities.”
EQIP, RCPP and AMA provide financial assistance for a
variety of conservation activities, such as nutrient
management, reduced tillage, field buffers, rotational grazing
systems and much more. RCPP focuses on public-private
partnerships in designated geographic areas to enable private
companies, local communities and other non-government partners
a way to invest in conservation efforts to help keep our
private land resilient and water clean.
For FY 2016, funding for contracts through RCPP will be
available for the following projects:
- Delaware River Watershed Working Lands Conservation
and Protection Partnership (Parts of Berks, Bucks,
Chester, Lehigh and Montgomery Counties within
designated watershed clusters)
- Comprehensive Watershed Conservation in Dairy and
Livestock Landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay (Bradford,
Juniata and Lancaster Counties)
- Mason-Dixon Working Lands Partnership (Franklin
County and the Pretty Boy watershed in York County)
- Cerulean Warbler Appalachian Forestland Enhancement
The deadline to submit applications to be considered in the
2016 first ranking period for funding consideration in
Pennsylvania for EQIP, AMA and RCPP is Friday, October 16,
2015. Applications received after that date will be accepted
and considered for funding in the second ranking in December,
if funds remain. .
Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives through EQIP, including:
- On-Farm Energy Initiative: helps producers conserve energy on their operations.
- Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative: helps producers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season into the cold months, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.
- Organic Initiative: helps producers to install conservation practices on certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.
To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farmers or farm or forest landowners and must meet eligibility criteria. To take advantage of NRCS technical assistance and expertise or federally funded conservation on your farm or land, please contact your local USDA NRCS Field Office found at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov, or visit our website at www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov for applications and program information.