Tuesday, January 17, 2012

USDA Extends Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up to January 27

Dover-Foxcroft, ME – January 13, 2012 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Juan Hernandez has announced that the cut-off date for the current Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) ranking period has been extended to January 27, 2012. Producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship are eligible for CSP payments. 

“We want to make sure that people who want to be considered for CSP during this first ranking period have the time they need to complete their applications,” Hernandez said. “CSP is a very popular program and I encourage interested producers to apply at their local NRCS office as soon as they can.”

Administered by NRCS, CSP provides many conservation benefits including improved water and soil quality, enhanced wildlife habitat and conservation activities that address the effects of climate change.

Producers are encouraged to apply for CSP throughout the year to be considered for current and future application ranking periods. Those who apply by January 27, 2012, may be eligible for current available funding. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial forestland.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contracts obligations and potential payments. It is available from the Dover-Foxcroft NRCS office and at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/csp.

Landowners can sign up for this program at the Dover-Foxcroft USDA Service Center/Natural Resources Conservation Service office, at 42 Engdahl Drive, Pine Crest Business Park, Dover-Foxcroft,  Monday - Friday, 8am - 4:30pm. For more information about CSP and other NRCS conservation programs, visit the Piscataquis County USDA Service Center at 42 Endgahl Drive, Pine Crest Business Park, Dover-Foxcroft, call 564-2321, or go to www.me.nrcs.usda.gov.

USDA Accepting Applications for Irrigation Assistance

Dover-Foxcroft, – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Maine has announced that they have received Fiscal Year 2012 Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program funds for irrigation assistance to private landowners in Maine. Approximately $294,000 will be made available to both large- and small-scale irrigators.  The deadline for applications is February 10, 2012.

AMA, administered by NRCS, is available in 16 states where participation in the Federal Crop Insurance Program is historically low.  AMA assists agricultural producers to manage risk and voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation practices into their farming operations. 

“This program gives landowners an additional opportunity to construct or improve their water management structures and to mitigate risk through production diversification or resource conservation practices,” said Juan Hernandez, State Conservationist for NRCS in Maine.  “This will benefit not only the landowner, but their neighbors and community as well.”

Under AMA, contracts will have a one to ten-year contract period, and the practices must be maintained for the life of the practice.  There is a $50,000 per year payment limitation per participant. 

The sign-up for AMA is available on a continuous basis.  Landowners can sign up for this program at the Piscataquis County USDA Service Center/Natural Resources Conservation Service office, located at 42 Engdahl Drive, Pine Crest Business Park, Dover-Foxcroft.  Applications received by February 10, 2012 will be considered for funding in Fiscal Year 2012.

For additional information about the AMA program or for other NRCS conservation programs visit the Maine NRCS website at www.me.nrcs.usda.gov., or call the Dover-Foxcroft office at 564-2321, Monday - Friday, 8am-4:30pm.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

meeting cancelled

We are cancelling tonight's Dexter Community Farm Project/DRDC meeting.  Some key people are sick, have other meetings, need more information and besides it is going to be COLD!
If you have any questions, always feel free to call or email me at judy@DexterFarmProject.com
Stay warm!!!