The deadline for applicants to sign up for the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), 1996 Farm Bill, Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) is June 11, 1999.
This program provides cost share dollars, through the Commodity Credit Corporation, to address major resource concerns and priorities identified as problems through local working groups.
For the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota, the proper control of animal waste through the collection, treatment, storage, and waste utilization for confined animal operations have been targeted for assistance in 1999.
Examples of confined animal operations include poultry and swine producers, where the animals have limited space and are fed and watered within small and confined pens or cages. Aquaculture may be considered.
Free ranging chickens, pigs, cows, etc. are not considered. Those people interested in receiving federal cost share assistance should contact the Saipan & Northern Islands Soil & Water Conservation District at 233-0650 or NRCS at 234-3415 for further information.
Applicants must have control of the land for the life of the contract, minimum of 5 years, to qualify.
EQIP funds will be used for existing operations only; they are not intended to assist farmers in expanding their operations by adding pens or tanks.
Previous applicants who signed up earlier this year and 1998 applicants as well, should contact the NRCS office to verify that they have filled out all of the proper forms and received all of the pertinent information concerning EQIP.