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Deadline extended for EQI Pinitiatives

September 05, 2006

HARRISBURG - The deadline for completing environmental projects to qualify for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program energy cost assistance has been extended until Dec. 29, State Conservationist Craig Derickson said.

"Farmers have put various conservation practices on hold because of the recent increases in the cost of energy," Derickson said. "...This cost adjustment and time extension will lessen the impact of energy prices on farmers, while protecting our natural resources."

Previously, Sept. 1 had been the deadline.

The one-time payment adjustment applies only to participants who signed EQIP contracts in 2004 or earlier and will only be paid for practices that are completed between March 1 and December 29, 2006.

The one-time payment adjustment applies only to participants who signed EQIP contracts in 2004 or earlier and will only be paid for practices that are completed between March 1 and Dec. 29, 2006. Projects must be completed and adhere to NRCS standards and specifications before payments can be made.

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Derickson said the 15 percent payment increase will focus on a select list of specific practices that have escalated in price by 20 percent or more because of rising energy costs and to practices most affected by increased costs in construction materials such as concrete, steel and plastic pipe.

He said participants must contact their local field office to determine which practices may be eligible for the payment increase.

Administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, EQIP is a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality.

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