The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced a second application cutoff date, April 19, for three initiatives: On-Farm Energy, Organic and Seasonal High Tunnel.
These initiatives, funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, offer technical and financial assistance to eligible participants to install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land.
Conservation practices must be implemented to NRCS standards and specifications.
With the On-Farm Energy initiative, producers work with an NRCS-approved technical service provider to develop agricultural energy management plans or farm energy audits that assess energy consumption on an operation.
NRCS may also provide assistance to implement various recommended measures identified in the energy audit through the use of conservation practice standards offered through this initiative.
With the Organic initiative, NRCS assists producers with installing conservation practices on agricultural operations related to organic production.
Producers certified as organic, transitioning to organic, or are exempt from the national organic program will have access to a variety of conservation practices to assist in treating their resource concerns while fulfilling many of the requirements in an organic system plan.
With the Seasonal High Tunnel initiative, NRCS helps producers implement high tunnels that extend growing seasons for high-value crops in an environmentally safe manner. High tunnel benefits include better plant and soil quality and fewer nutrients and pesticides in the environment.
In Kansas, socially disadvantaged, limited resource and beginning farmers and ranchers will receive a higher payment rate for eligible conservation practices applied.
Interested producers should contact their local NRCS office soon to see if they are eligible for these programs.