The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for fiscal year 2013 financial assistance to help implement conservation practices that improve natural resources on farms, forests, and wetland areas throughout Connecticut.
The deadline to submit applications for the first ranking period is Nov. 16. Applications received after that will be accepted and considered for funding if funds are available after first cycle applications are processed.
Eligible projects will include programs to support practices that reduce soil erosion and nutrient loss on cropland; help farmers manage manure and nutrients associated with livestock production; help forest owners better manage woodlands; improve wildlife habitat, or improve grazing systems. Individual practices that have been historically popular include waste storage facilities; no-till, cover crops; buffers; prescribed and rotational grazing; nutrient management; and forest improvement.
Some special initiatives expected to receive funding include habitat improvement for the eastern bog turtle and the New England cottontail rabbit; farmstead energy audits; seasonal high tunnels; and installation of conservation practices to benefit organic farming operations or those transitioning to organic.
The Conservation Stewardship Program offers incentive payments for producers and forest owners who are practicing good conservation measures and are interested in improving and adding practices to enhance their conservation efforts. The application deadline for this program is Nov. 16.
For information, visit: www.ct.nrcs.usda.gov/programs; or contact the USDA field office in Norwich at (860) 887-3604.