Opportunity to apply for EQIP National Water Conservation Initiative Funds given

STILLWATER – Gary O’Neill, Oklahoma State Conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), announced financial assistance is available through a special initiative for Oklahoma agricultural producers aimed at addressing water conservation.

Oklahoma was one of the hardest hit states by the drought and in an effort to help farmers apply science-based solutions to mitigate the short and long term effects of drought. These investments will focus financial and technical assistance in the most severely drought-stricken areas in the states to help crop producers apply conservation practices that increase irrigation efficiency and improve soil health and productivity for future drought impacts. “Every day, NRCS conservationists work side-by-side with agricultural producers and help them conserve water and increase resilience in their operations. Today’s investment will provide additional resources in drought- stricken areas to help farmers implement solutions to mitigate the impacts of sustained drought and improve their existing operations to conserve water.” said Gary O’Neill, NRCS State Conservationist for Oklahoma.

Applications for this special initiative are aimed at thirteen counties which had been designated by the U.S. Drought Mitigation Center as D3 and D4 that experienced extreme to exceptional drought. “Only application received before June 26, 2015 will be considered for funding for this special initiative, adds Skiles. Producers that have high priority resource concerns and are interested in participation in EQIP may apply at any time at the local NRCS or Altus Field Office at 3100 N. Main, Suite A, in Altus. For more information, call 580-482-4312 Ext. 3.

Through this special initiative, producers can apply for practices to address water conservation such as improved efficiency irrigation practices and soil health related practices such as cover crops in an existing no-till system.

With the impacts of the recent drought still fresh on the minds of farmers and Oklahoma’s Soil Health Campaign, there has been an enormous amount of interest in water conservation practices. In an effort focus funding where it is most need, Oklahoma will focus the drought recovery funds on water conservation and building resiliency for future droughts.

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