The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Arkansas announced two additional sign-ups through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s (EQIP) Small Farm and Urban Agriculture Initiative and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
“These additional opportunities will help agricultural producers throughout Arkansas make best use of their natural resources where agricultural production is often limited by competing land uses and higher costs of utilization,” said Arkansas NRCS State Conservationist Mike Sullivan. “Urban and small farmers provide critical access to healthy food for local communities, as well as jobs, increased green spaces, and community engagement.”
In Arkansas, healthy food access can be limited in urban, suburban and rural areas, and small-scale, sustainable, diversified operations are vital to support local and regional food systems. NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round, but to be included in this funding opportunity, interested producers should contact their local USDA Service Center and apply by June 16.
Applicants are encouraged to work with NRCS and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to complete eligibility requirements at their earliest convenience during the application process.
For small-scale and urban operations in this particular sign-up, NRCS offers technical and financial assistance with conservation practices, such as conservation cover; conservation crop rotation; cover crops; high tunnel systems; irrigation system, micro irrigation; Irrigation Water Management; low tunnel systems; Mulching; Nutrient management; Pest management conservation system; Prescribed grazing; Raised beds; Residue and tillage management – no-till; Residue and tillage management – reduced till; Roof Runoff Structure; Soil carbon amendment; and Wildlife habitat planting.
CSP offers additional opportunities to expand on existing conservation efforts through enhancements. Interested producers should submit applications including the NRCS-CPA-1200 and maps that identify and delineate the boundaries of all eligible land uses and acres included in the operation to their local NRCS office. The full list of enhancements is available at your local NRCS office, located at 490 E. College Street, Room 226, in Bateville. For more information call (870) 793-4164, Ext. 3.
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