The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the release of nearly $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2006 for voluntary conservation programs on working lands. Arizona received $45 million, with those funds and voluntary conservation programs administered by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

NRCS has extended its application deadline until Jan. 16 for one of those voluntary conservation programs: The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). In fiscal year 2005, NRCS in Arizona awarded $21 million in EQIP contracts.