Tennessee NRCS Provides EQIP Assistance to Address Pasture and Hayland in Counties with Severe, Extreme, or Exceptional Drought Conditions
Sign-up Deadline is May 19, 2017
NASHVILLE, April 7, 2017 – As a result of the drought issues faced by Tennessee’s pasture and hayland producers, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing financial and technical assistance through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Drought Special Sign Up to help address natural resource concerns on damaged land in counties with D2 (Severe), D3 (Extreme), and D4 (Exceptional) drought conditions—as designated on the U.S. Drought Monitor map dated November 22, 2016.
“Through this special sign up, producers may apply for assistance to install conservation practices that can help treat identified resource concerns to reduce the negative impacts of current drought conditions, and will help improve the sustainability of their operation in the long run,” said Jamie Carpenter, Acting State Conservationist, NRCS Tennessee.
Conservation practices available to producers through this special sign up include: Forage and Biomass Planting, Critical Area Planting, Access Control, Prescribed Grazing, Fence, Livestock Pipeline, Pumping Plant, Spring Development, Water Well, Watering Facility, and Heavy Use Area Protection.
According to Rusty Walker at the local NRCS office each farm will need to be evaluated based on drought damage. We will first ask the applicant if they can meet a high priority resource concern before evaluating the request. High priority will be given to those applicants meeting 3 of the following 4 criteria: 1-Operation has infrastructure in place like cross fencing, water, etc to be able to follow a grazing plan. 2-Operator does not have infrastructure but will is willing to install needed practices to follow a grazing plan. 3-Operator has a minimum of 5 paddocks per herd to rotate cattle. 4-Operator has a minimum of 2.5 ac pasture per Animal Unit.
Only high priority applications will be ranked now. The ranking criteria has basically been set up to first provide assistance to cattlemen who have been following grazing recommendations or those who are willing to adapt, not as a reward for poorer management or feedlots.
Interested producers are encouraged to visit their local USDA service center to apply or to learn more about drought assistance. The deadline to sign up for this special drought initiative is May 19, 2017.
Additional program requirements and information about EQIP is available on the Tennessee NRCS website at www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov.
EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns on agricultural and forest land.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).
“Voluntary Conservation Works!"