New USDA financial assistance available for Ascension Parish

Staff reports

A new Air Quality Initiative is available in the Ozone Non-attainment areas of Ascension, Iberville, Livingston, West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge parishes through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The new initiative offers financial assistance for cropland and livestock producers for doing the following conservation practices aimed at improving air quality: Planting cool season legumes on sugarcane or soybean cropland not for harvest, $56.25 per acre; planting warm season legumes on sugarcane land during the fallow cycle not for harvest, $67.50; residue repositioning or row sweeping following sugarcane harvest, $63 per acre; chemical fallowing between harvest of sugarcane ratoon crop and replanting of new crop, $90 per acre; tree/shrub establishment on existing cropland or pasture, $80.25-$133.50 per acre; tree/shrub establishment site prep on existing cropland or pasture $15.75-$92.25 per acre; pasture and hayland planting on existing cropland $70.43-$143.85 per acre for seeding and $62.25-$172.50 per acre for fertilizer/lime; interseeding legumes  or clover on existing pasture $42.75 per acre; prescribed grazing incentive for implementation of a prescribed grazing plan on existing rotational grazing systems, $15 per acre; nutrient management- split applications of nitrogen on pastureland $4.50 per acre; and pest management- implementation of an Integrated pest management plan on cropland or pasture $15 per acre.

The application period cut-off date is May 29, 2009. All applications need to be completed with all required items (signatures of landowners, eligibility items, etc.) by the cut-off date.

Contact Mandy York, District Conservationist, at the Donaldsonville Field Office at 225-473-7638, Ext. 3 or visit the office at 2274 Hwy. 70, Suite C, Donaldsonville (next to Sunshine Equipment Company) for more information. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.