USDA Funding Available For Irrigation Water Conservation Measures-

Farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to apply for 2006 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds for needed water conservation practices that conserve groundwater in the High Plains Region and across the state of Oklahoma . USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) .

EQIP is designed to promote agricultural production and environmental quality through technical assistance, cost-share payments and incentive payments to assist crop and livestock producers with environmental and conservation improvements on private lands. An additional farm bill provision for ground and surface water conservation was created under EQIP. Funding for this provision of EQIP is specified for the purpose of water conservation measures that result in a net water savings for the operating unit. This funding is designated for conservation measures in the Oklahoma Panhandle ( Cimarron , Texas , and Beaver Counties ). The focus will be on irrigation water conservation practices that reduce the amount of water used to produce a crop or convert the irrigated land to dryland crop or pasture.

Additional irrigation water conservation funding is being offered again statewide for 2006 to provide other irrigators an opportunity for USDA cost-share assistance to increase system efficiency, providing for water savings. A limited statewide application and funding process similar to 2005, exclusive of the Oklahoma Panhandle Area, is being offered again this year to address water conservation needs across the remainder of the state. An allocation has been set-aside to fund irrigation water conservation measures on approved applications. These funds will be available only for existing irrigation systems and cannot be used to bring new land under irrigation. To be eligible, the land must have been irrigated two (2) of the five (5) years previous to application for EQIP, and the conservation measures applied through the EQIP must result in a net water savings to the operating unit. Farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to install more efficient irrigation systems through cost-share contracting and incentive payments for management.

We are accepting applications for water conservation measures in the EQIP on a continuous basis, however; only applications received by December 30, 2005 , will be ranked and considered during this initial selection period.” Evaluated applications will be grouped and selected for funding from a statewide pool of applicants soon after March 1, 2006 , until the funding allocation is obligated. Unsuccessful applications and applications received after the cut-off date will be maintained for future funding consideration if the applicant chooses to remain on the waiting list. Successful applicants with high priority resource concerns will be contacted to develop contracts to obligate the current funding allocation. Irrigators that have high priority resource concerns and are interested in participation in EQIP may apply at any time at the local NRCS or Cimarron County Conservation District office at 210 S. Cimarron, Suite C, Boise City, OK 73933 or by calling (580) 544-2812 ext. 3. All applications received will be evaluated according to the statewide ranking criteria as workload permits and reviewed for potential funding as program allocations become available.

Announcement of Statewide AFO/CAFO EQIP Fund Availability

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Cimarron County , announces that funding is now available under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for treatment of resource concerns for large confined animal feeding operations statewide for fiscal year 2006. Oklahoma has set aside cost share assistance to apply conservation practices and management incentives for the treatment of water quality resource concerns relative to animal waste management. Applicants will compete statewide for the EQIP large confined animal resource concern funds. Successful applicants will be selected from a statewide list of applicants with high priority resource concerns as addressed in the application ranking criteria.

The 2002 Farm Bill removed the restrictions on the use of EQIP funds for the large confined animal feeding operations (AFO/CAFO), and the State Technical Committee requested a statewide process to address the potential water quality impacts of these operations to the rivers and streams of the state. This allows these operations to apply for EQIP financial assistance for animal waste storage, treatment, and utilization for eligible beef, dairy, and swine operations to address these potential resource concerns. In addition, air quality concerns are being addressed in 2006 by making dust control measures in beef feedlots available for financial assistance. Priority is given to existing large confined animal operations that are maintaining or reducing the size of the operation with a lesser priority for expanding facilities. New facilities of any type, along with poultry operations are ineligible. All applicants will be required to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) during the EQIP contract period.

We are accepting applications for participation in the statewide AFO/CAFO EQIP program on a continuous basis “However, only applications received by December 30, 2005 , will be ranked and considered during this initial selection period.” Evaluated applications will be grouped and selected for funding from a statewide pool of applicants soon after March 1, 2006 until the funding allocation is obligated. Unsuccessful applications will be maintained for future funding consideration if the applicant chooses to remain on the waiting list. Successful applicants with high priority resource concerns will be contacted to develop contracts to obligate the current funding allocation. Individual large confined animal feeding operations that have high priority resource concerns and are interested in participation in EQIP may apply at any time at the local NRCS or Cimarron County Conservation District office at 210 S. Cimarron, Suite C, Boise City, OK 73933 or by calling (580) 544-2812 ext. 3. Applications received will be evaluated according to the statewide ranking criteria as workload permits and reviewed for potential funding as program allocations become available.

Boise City News
P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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