Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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.

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