NRCS announces 2008 incentive programs

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) encourages those interested in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) to sign-up for the programs by June 27 to be eligible for the current ranking and funding period. Both EQIP and WHIP are voluntary conservation programs administered by the NRCS and authorized through the current Farm Bill and the new Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.

All eligible applications that are received by June 27 will be ranked. The ranking system uses a combination of statewide and local criteria to help determine which applications are the most environmentally beneficial projects. Those projects that are ranked highest will be funded during this ranking period. We encourage all those who wish to participate in EQIP and WHIP to continue to submit applications throughout the year in anticipation for future ranking periods.

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program administered by the NRCS. The program supports Louisiana farmers who have set compatible goals in both production agriculture and environmental quality. Through EQIP, Louisiana farmers may receive financial and technical assistance to plan, design and install structural conservation practices, and to plan and implement management practices on eligible agricultural land. Through WHIP, NRCS provides both technical financial assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat. WHIP agreements between NRCS and the participant generally last from 5 to 10 years from the date the agreement is signed.

For more information about EQIP, WHIP and the NRCS please visit the NRCS on the web at www.la.nrcs.usda.gov. You can also contact the St. Martin Soil & Water Conservation District at (337) 332-2910 ext. 3 or (337) 262-6601, ext. 3 or visit us at 114 Courthouse St., Breaux Bridge.

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