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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On-Farm Energy Audits Deadline Approaching Soon

USDA Offers Producers Help with On-Farm Energy Audits

Harrisburg, PA, June 9, 2010 – Have you ever wondered how you can reduce the amount of energy used on your farm? USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) may have the answer. Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), NRCS is now offering funding opportunities to help you obtain an energy audit at your farm’s headquarters or on cropland.

Producers interested in obtaining energy audits through this EQIP special initiative should apply by Friday, June 18th to be considered for the 2010 funding cycle.

The energy audits will be individually tailored to ensure coverage of each farm's primary energy uses such as milk cooling, irrigation pumping, heating and cooling of livestock production facilities, manure collection and transfer, grain drying, and similar common on-farm activities. An Agricultural Energy Management Plan will be developed to identify what techniques or equipment can be used to reduce energy use and save money. The plan will be designed by a Technical Service Provider (certified by NRCS and placed on an approved list) who will provide technical assistance for specific conservation programs administered by USDA.

Through EQIP, NRCS will pay up to 75 percent of the average cost of an Agricultural Energy Management Plan based on the number of animal units or acres of cropland. Payment rates can be viewed at www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/Energy/whats_new.html.

Producers signing up after June 18th, or producers who are not funded in 2010, due to the number of requests exceeding available funds, can ask to have their application retained for consideration in 2011.

A free on-line assessment is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/energy/index.html to see how you can become more energy efficient.

For more information about USDA’s energy initiative, or other conservation programs, please visit us online at www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov, or contact the nearest USDA Service Center in your area.

Applicants in Potter and McKean County may contact Ben Renner at the Ag Service Center, at 105 Market st. in Coudersport or call (814) 274-8166 (ext. 101)

This year represents the 75th year of NRCS "helping people help the land." Since its inception the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners to deliver conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

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