The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has set the application deadline for Fiscal Year 2011 farm bill conservation programs funding as Nov. 12, 2010.

The deadline includes all California Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) priorities, except the EQIP Organic Initiative. The EQIP Organic Initiative sign up deadline will be provided at a later date.

NRCS’s EQIP program priorities eligible for this sign up include, but are not limited to:

  • Water Quality – Animal Feeding Operations (AFO)
  • Water Conservation/Drought Response
  • Wildlife Habitat Improvements
  • California Air Quality
  • Grazing Lands Management
  • Forest Lands Management

To date in 2010, California NRCS has obligated over $74 million in EQIP funds for over 5,600 contracts and 821,000 acres statewide. However, the number of applications received this past year far exceeds the amount of funding available.

NRCS is anticipating similar funding for 2011. Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to start their application process as soon as possible to ensure consideration for this funding cycle.

NRCS invites agricultural, forestry and livestock producers to apply before the Nov. 12, 2010, deadline, by visiting a local NRCS office or USDA Service Center. Driving directions and contact information for the Service Centers are available on the Web at