The Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering $41.8 million in funds meant to soften the blow of drought in California, Colorado, Oregon and Arizona. But sign up ends soon: July 12.

The money is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Conservation Incentive Contracts, a program aiming to help producers and tribes “alleviate the immediate impacts of drought and other natural resource challenges on working lands,” NRCS noted in a release. 

“We are excited to be one of the pilot states receiving additional funds to support our farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in drought resiliency,” Carlos Suarez, NRCS state conservationist in California, said in a statement. “Our technical staff stands ready to help you with a personalize approach to address your greatest conservation needs this summer, and preparing for the long-term.” 

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Created in the 2018 farm bill, EQIP CIC funds are five-year contracts. In California, the program will focus on practices such as “forest management plans, tree/shrub establishment, brush management, prescribed grazing, pasture and hay planting, wildlife habitat, livestock watering systems, and cover crops,” NRCS noted. According to the agency, the program will have six priority areas: cropland in the San Joaquin Valley; cropland statewide; cropland in the Klamath Basin; statewide range and pasture; statewide forest; and statewide tribal cropland, range, pasture and forest.

Suarez said producers should “contact your nearest NRCS office to apply for assistance to address drought, wildfire, climate smart agriculture, and pollinators.”

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