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Grazing practices an EQIP focus this year

November 14, 2006

Attention, farmers - It's time to apply for financial aid for conservation practices through the USDA's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

If interested, contact the local Natural Resources Conservaton Service or Soil Conservation District office at 1260 Maryland Ave., Suite 101, in Hagerstown for more info.

Although the application period for EQIP is continuous, NRCS sets dates to rank received applications based on environmental benefits. The first ranking period will cover all fiscal 2007 applications received by Dec. 15, 2006.

"Grazing practices and incentives to manage crop rotations and continuous no till production will be a focus for EQIP this year," said Virginia "Ginger" Murphy, state conservationist for NRCS in Maryland.

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"Incentive payments will be offered for grazing plans, Comprehensive Nutrient Manage-ment Plans, and irrigation system efficiency studies," Murphy said. "EQIP will also assist farmers who transition from traditional crop production to organic production methods."

She said practices eligible for funding in 2007 include:

Animal waste storage and management and related practices to include mortality issues; Erosion control and integrated crop management systems; Grazing systems; and Transition to organic production.

For more information, go on the Web to www.md.nrcs.usda.gov/ and look at the Programs Section.

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