COLUMBUS - Agricultural producers and landowners interested in protecting or improving natural resources are urged to contact the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office before Dec. 1 to take advantage of financial assistance in 2011.
While most NRCS programs are offered through a continuous sign-up, NRCS typically makes funding selections once a year.
"This year we're making a real effort to make our program ranking period earlier in the fiscal year. Our intention is to make our program ranking cut-off at a more convenient time for agricultural producers and landowners," said State Conservationist Terry Cosby. "While we accept program applications year-round, by making the ranking period in the fall instead of in the spring, both conservation planners and producers will have more time to plan for implementation of the conservation practices in the plan."
NRCS administers a suite of conservation programs designed to address various natural resource issues on private working land and private, nonindustrial forest land. Three primary conservation programs are the Environmental Quality Incentives Program - EQIP; Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program - WHIP; and the Wetlands Reserve Program - WRP.
Each program focuses on a different aspect of natural resources conservation.
In addition to regular conservation programs, special funding pools are available for organic producers and other groups.
For more information, call (419) 447-7073 or visit www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov.