The  application deadline  for three popular Farm Bill programs — Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) and Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is January 29, 2010 according to Dr. William Puckett, state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Applications for the three programs will be accepted until close of business on that day. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis; however, selecting applications for funding is completed periodically through batching periods with specific cutoff dates.

EQIP and WHIP offer financial and technical assistance to install structural and management practices on eligible non-federal lands to address natural resource concerns and wildlife habitat restoration. Conservation treatment activities for EQIP and WHIP are carried out in accordance to a conservation plan that is developed with the landowner or manager
GRP is a voluntary program to assist landowners and operators of private and tribal lands in restoring, protecting and enhancing grassland, rangeland, pastureland, shrub land and certain other lands through rental contracts and easements. The program offers producers several enrollment options:
— Rental contracts (duration of 10-years, 15-years, or 20-years). — Easements (permanent or maximum duration authorized by state law.
— The Grassland Reserve Program is jointly administered by NRCS and the Farm Service Agency.

Interested landowners should contact their local NRCS office listed in the telephone book or online at the Alabama NRCS Web site at www.al.nrcs.usda.gov.

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