NRCS is sending out a reminder to agricultural producers who want to conserve water or address water, air, or animal waste issues; reduce erosion; improve wildlife habitat; obtain a seasonal high tunnel; or just improve conservation on their farming operation. To be considered for the first ranking period of FY2016, applications must be submitted by November 20.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program for those engaged in livestock, forestry, or agricultural production – including organics. The program offers financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land, and provides payments for implementing conservation practices that have a positive environmental impact, while protecting long-term agricultural production and sustainability. Eligible crop production includes—but is not limited to—field-grown ornamentals, fruits, orchards, plant materials in greenhouses, row crops, vegetables, and vineyards.

The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Program provides financial assistance to help manage risk and solve natural resource issues through conservation, as well as for seasonal high tunnels.

Although NRCS accepts applications for EQIP and AMA year round, to be considered for funding during this ranking period, applications must be received by November 20, 2015. Applications received after that will be accepted and considered, if funds are still available.

To find out more about EQIP, fill out eligibility forms, or obtain an application, contact your local USDA Service Center: Danielson – (860) 779-0557; Hamden – (203) 287-8038; Norwich – (860) 887-3604; Torrington – (860) 626-8258; Windsor – (860) 688-7725.