The Natural Resources Conservation Service continues to accept applications for cost-share funding for on-farm energy projects, organic production and seasonal high-tunnel projects through June 1.
After the deadline, the service ranks the proposals and funds the highest scoring ones, according to a news release.
• NRCS works with producers to develop an energy management plan or energy audit that assesses energy use on their operations.
NRCS then uses energy audit information to produce conservation recommendations.
• The organic initiative helps growers obtain certification and install conservation practices.
A new component requires that participants be continuously evaluated during the ranking period. Those meeting or exceeding the threshold during the evaluation will be approved for an Environmental Quality Incentive Program contract before the ranking period is completed.
• Seasonal high-tunnels are unheated steel-framed structures covered in polyethylene and tall enough for a tractor or person to walk under.
They extend the growing season, allowing growers to plant earlier and harvest later into the season.
More than 4,000 high tunnels have been built through through the initiative during the past two years.
To locate the nearest NRCS office, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov.