0513USDAannouncesAgEnergyMa.cfm S.D. producers encouraged to submit EQIP applications soon
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S.D. producers encouraged to submit EQIP applications soon

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South Dakota

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Janet Oertly announced an initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program designed to help agricultural producers transition to more energy-efficient operations. Applications are being accepted through June 18. While this is a continuous signup, applications for 2010 funding must be received by the cutoff date.

The NRCS in South Dakota will offer a payment for the development of an Agricultural Energy Management Plan. The producer will hire a Technical Service Provider, which is certified to complete an AgEMP. The EQIP payments will be made directly to program participants for development of an AgEMP by a certified TSP.

"Reducing energy use on South Dakota farms and ranches will not only help our agricultural producers become more profitable but also help America become more energy independent," said Oertly.

Through this initiative, producers will be able to receive individual on-farm energy audit evaluations and assistance with implementation of energy conservation and efficiency measures. Dairy, beef, poultry, swine, and other agricultural operations are included in this energy efficiency initiative. The NRCS, in partnership with USDA Rural Development, will implement the agricultural energy conservation and efficiency initiative.

Energy audits will be individually tailored to ensure coverage of each farm's primary energy uses such as milk cooling, heating and cooling of livestock production facilities, grain drying, and similar on-farm activities. Simple changes in confined animal operations can help farmers and ranchers achieve significant cost and energy savings.

Interested producers should visit their nearest USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Individuals are not eligible for EQIP until they have completed the farm bill eligibility requirements. Please contact your local USDA Service Center to begin this process. The NRCS field offices are listed in the telephone directory under U.S. Department of Agriculture or online at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov. For information about agricultural energy management plans visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/cap.html.



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