Conservation Funding Aims to Improve Irrigation Efficiency, Protect and Enhance Sage-Grouse Habitat, Manage Livestock and Reduce Soil Loss
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering financial and technical assistance to help agricultural producers apply conservation practices on their private land as well as their public land allotments. Agricultural producers are encouraged to apply for funds available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications must be received before 4 p.m. on November 16, 2018 to be considered in the first application batching period.
EQIP is a voluntary, financial assistance program that provides funding for the implementation of conservation practices to protect and enhance sage-grouse habitat, manage livestock, improve irrigation efficiency and reduce soil loss.
Rick Lattin’s family has farmed in Nevada’s Lahontan Valley since 1909, and they have had an ongoing relationship with NRCS that goes back decades.
“They’ve been important to the success of our farm,” said Lattin. “Back in the 50s, they helped us put in concrete ditches—water is very important and very short here. We worked with NRCS over the years, and we now have all concrete lined ditches, and there’s no way we could’ve done that without NRCS. And they helped us put in an underground tile system that allows us to catch the excess water that goes into the ground when we irrigate.
The farm figured out how to pick that water up and re-use it to run the drip systems, which allows them to save water and use less water. NRCS has also assisted with Lattin’s high tunnels, also called hoop houses.
“We have a rotational program that includes cover cropping with rye in some of the winters and then doing double cropping when we can of early season greens and root crops. And then in the main season it’s tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and a little bit of squash and cucumbers for our roadside stand,” said Lattin. “The hoop houses have become very versatile for us with the kind of products we can grow, the number of products we can grow, and the season in which we can grow them.”
USDA Financial Assistance Programs such as EQIP give producers the opportunity to construct or improve water management or irrigation structures, plant trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality. They also can mitigate risk through production diversification, or by implementing innovative management strategies including soil erosion control, integrated pest management or transitioning to organic farming and practices that improve soil health on croplands, pastures and rangeland.
“Applications for EQIP are accepted year-round on a continuous basis for all state, local and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) fund pools with batching periods announced so that applications can be ranked and funded. We encourage producers to utilize this early batching period to allow conservation plans to be completed in the fall for earliest obligation of the projects into contracts and implementation of the practices the following spring and summer,” said Gary Roeder, assistant state conservationist for programs.
Applicants must meet USDA program eligibility requirements for land eligibility and person eligibility. Eligibility requirements include Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limitations for individuals and entities. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria to be considered for ranking and funding decisions. Farm Bill programs have strict payment limits, and the amount of financial assistance producers may receive varies by program and will depend on future allocations received under the Farm Bill authority. Limited resource producers, beginning farmers and ranchers, or socially disadvantaged agricultural producers may be eligible for up to 15 percent higher payments, not to exceed 90 percent of the estimated cost to install the practice.
These prices represent average price at point of first sale for all grades and qualities sold. Sales by farmers range from small or large bales to occasionally round bales or bulk loose hay. The average price concept is that price which would result from dividing the total dollars received by all farmers, before any marketing charges are deducted, by the total quantity sold.
Prices received by farmers are used by the Farm Services Agency (FSA) to administer the disaster program payments and to set coverage levels for crop insurance elections. Beef cattle and hay prices are used by the Forest Service (FS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in determining grazing fees on public land. Prices received are also used by the Economic Research Service (ERS) as a basis for calculating gross farm receipts.Read more
Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, brought to you by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. The contest celebrates farm dogs who work alongside their people to bring nutritious food to our tables and our pets’ bowls.
The grand prize winner – Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year – will win a year’s worth of Purina dry dog food and $5,000 in prize money for the farmer and his or her spouse/family to offset travel costs to attend the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in New Orleans, Jan. 11-16, 2019. The winner will be recognized at the Farm Dog of the Year award ceremony at the convention. Up to four runners-up will win $1,000 each in prize money.
“Farm dogs play an important role on our farms and ranches, doing their part every day to help farm families,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “They can lighten the workload and enrich our lives by providing faithful and playful companionship. We’re excited for this special opportunity to honor these loyal members of our farm families.”
Desired attributes in the Farm Dog of the Year include helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and obedience.
Farm dog owners must be Farm Bureau members to enter their dogs in the competition. Applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can visit fb.org/join to learn about becoming a member.
Eligibility guidelines and submission requirements are available online at http://fb.org/2019farmdog. Farm Dog of the Year nominations, which include written responses to questions, still photos and a video clip, must be received by Oct. 12, 2018, for consideration.
The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources hosted their annual Field Day at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Main Station lab. Collegiate Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) participated in the event as part of the club’s mission to participate in community outreach.
“It was great to see members come out and help educate attendees on what Collegiate YF&R is trying to achieve as a new club on the UNR campus,” said Blane Merkley President of Collegiate YF&R.
Collegiate YF&R wanted a booth that grabbed people’s attention, so they hosted several watermelon eating contest throughout the day. It was a great way to get people interested and also a way for members to discuss with attendees the great work the club has done so far. In addition to the watermelon eating contest promotional flyers, Moolisa the Nevada Department of Agriculture dairy cow and raffle tickets for the saddle were sold to help promote Collegiate YF&R.
“CABNR Field day went well! Moolisa and the watermelons were a big hit,” said Melissa Jones a Collegiate YF&R member.
The kids had a great time interacting with Moolisa and it was a great educational opportunity for members to teach the children about the dairy industry.
Collegiate YF&R came together to reflect on the field day and saw it as an overall success. Eight watermelons were consumed and Moolisa went dry from milking! A huge thank you to CABNR for letting YF&R have a booth and a shout out to all the members that made this event a victory!