WHIP, EQIP application deadline is Dec. 15

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN GARY SCHULER

NATIONAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION SERVICE
The Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that Dec. 15, 2006, is the fiscal year 2007 funding cutoff date for the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

Although applications for these programs are accepted throughout the year, the cutoff date is when applications are ranked for funding.

For both programs, applications received after the cutoff date will be held and processed during the next ranking period, which will probably be a year from now. Producers can expect funding decisions to be completed by Feb. 16 for WHIP and March 2 for EQIP.

Marion County producers have taken advantage of EQIP during the past few years to carry out a significant amount of conservation on cropland and grassland.

Assistance is available to help producers implement no-till, build terraces, seed grass, install livestock waste systems, control trees and brush in pastures, spray sericea lespedeza, cross-fence pastures, install water developments, and a host of other beneficial practices where a resource concern exists.

The WHIP program helps landowners install practices that benefit wildlife species, especially upland game birds.

It is very important that producers contact Jeff Rue, Kansas Wildlife & Parks biologist, at the earliest opportunity so he can assist with the development of a wildlife conservation plan.

Agricultural producers interested in participating in WHIP and EQIP can apply at any time in the NRCS office at the USDA Service Center in Marion.

Information about WHIP and EQIP for fiscal year 2007 is available on the Web site at www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs or from local NRCS or conservation district staff.

Gary Schuler is the district conservationist for Marion County.

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