Specialty crop farmers, organic producers and other farmers unfamiliar with working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its partner agencies are invited to learn how USDA can help them protect their land and be more productive by attending a workshop May 24 at Marengo in eastern Iowa or June 5 at Woodward in central Iowa.
Each workshop will include information about financial and technical assistance for farmers, presentations from participating farmers, requirements for participating in USDA programs as well as an opportunity to make future appointments or sign up for assistance at the local USDA office.
Workshops Offer One-on-One Help For Farmers New to USDA
Workshops will run from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The Marengo meeting will be held at the Marengo Public Library, 235 East Hilton Street in Marengo. The Woodward meeting will be held at the Camp Mitigwa Boy Scout Camp, 1798 Magnolia Road, near Woodward. Lunch and the opportunity to apply for limited mileage reimbursement are available to those who preregister by May 21. For more information or to register contact: May 24 workshop: Peter Hoehnle, 319-622-3264, [email protected]; June 5 workshop: Carman Rosburg, 515-232-0048, [email protected]
By attending these workshops farmers will learn about NRCS program opportunities such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or EQIP, and other programs and services. "Specialty crop and organic farmers will be especially interested in the financial assistance funds for high tunnels or organic farming practices offered through EQIP," says Warren Johnson, executive director of the Iowa League of Resource Conservation and Development, which is sponsoring the workshops.
To help staff members provide the most useful information as possible, the people who attend the workshops are asked to bring the location of their farm or acreage, with a map, if one is available.
FSA reminds CRP participants of primary nesting season requirements
In other news from USDA, the Farm Service Agency reminded farmers and landowners who are participating in the Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, that maintenance and management activities on CRP acres must be completed outside the primary nesting season. Iowa's primary nesting season began on May 15, 2012 and continues through August 1, 2012.
CRP participants should refer to their current conservation plans for the maintenance or management practices that are to be completed for 2012. Participants with maintenance issues that require attention prior to the end of the nesting season must contact their local FSA office for permission prior to performing any spot spraying or spot mowing on CRP acreage.Failure to contact the county FSA office prior to any maintenance during the primary nesting season may result in payment reductions or possible contract termination. For questions or more information on maintenance or management of CRP acres, visit your local FSA county office or go online to www.fsa.usda.gov.