The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering Michigan farmers a second opportunity to compete for conservation financial assistance during 2013. Funding is available through the USDA's Seasonal High Tunnel for Crops, Drought, Organic and Air Quality initiatives to producers who submit an application by May 17.
"This is a good opportunity for producers who were not selected earlier in the year to apply for financial assistance for conservation activities during 2013. Anyone interested in these initiatives should contact their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office as soon as possible to start the application process," says State Conservationist Garry Lee.
The Seasonal High Tunnel, Drought and Organic initiatives are available to producers statewide, and the Air Quality Initiative is available to producers in 25 Michigan counties. Farmers who submit applications with the greatest environmental benefits will be offered contracts to pay a portion of the cost for implementing conservation practices. Farmers receive payment after the conservation practice is installed or implemented.
The Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative provides financial assistance to purchase a seasonal high tunnel (hoop house) to extend the growing season for crop production.
The drought initiative provides financial assistance for specified conservation activities that can help alleviate drought conditions, some eligible practices include residue and tillage management, cover crops and irrigation water management.
Organic producers and producers transitioning to organic production can receive financial assistance for implementing conservation practices consistent with organic production to address a resource concern.
Air Quality Initiative funding is available to producers in 25 Michigan counties identified as having impaired air quality. A list of eligible counties is available online and at local USDA Service Centers. Producers in eligible counties can apply for financial assistance to implement conservation practices that improve air quality.
For more information about these initiatives and how to apply for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, contact a local field office or go online to www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service helps America's farmers and ranchers conserve the Nation's soil, water, air and other natural resources. All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and the environment.