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December time to start plans for your next growing season

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By The Staff

LEXINGTON - After the harvest season, November is usually the time we celebrate and give thanks. It is also time for producers and landowners to consider planning for the next growing season.

Each fiscal year, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) sets dates for program application ranking. Although dates may vary from one program to another, landowners may sign-up at any time for all conservation programs.

Conservation Planning is an integral part of the conservation process and that anyone seeking cost share assistance will be provided an up-to-date conservation plan that includes the practices needed to address their resource concerns.

The conservation plan allows the landowner to combine farming skills with the technology tools available from NRCS and conservation district staff, to provide the best and up-to-date information used to apply conservation practices and make decisions regarding the natural resources on the land.

Anyone can apply for assistance whether or not they have a conservation plan but the first step will be to develop a plan that meets the participant’s objectives.

There are two programs, WHIP and EQIP, with an upcoming cut-off-date of January 29, 2010 for application ranking. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) also has an ongoing sign-up period, but a ranking cut-off date has not yet been identified for CSP.

As in past years, assistance is available on cropland, pastureland, hayland and forestland.

If you are interested in participating Farm Bill conservation programs, you should sign-up as soon as possible and request a conservation plan. For more information, contact Kurt Mason, NRCS District Conservationist at (502) 643-4692.