NASHVILLE, April 7, 2017 – As a result of the drought issues faced by Tennessee’s pasture and hayland producers, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing financial and technical assistance through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Drought Special Sign Up to help address natural resource concerns on damaged land in counties with D2 (Severe), D3 (Extreme), and D4 (Exceptional) drought conditions—as designated on the U.S. Drought Monitor map dated November 22, 2016.

Through this special sign up, producers may apply for assistance to install conservation practices that can help treat identified resource concerns to reduce the negative impacts of current drought conditions, and will help improve the sustainability of their operation in the long run,” said Jamie Carpenter, Acting State Conservationist, NRCS Tennessee.

Conservation practices available to producers through this special sign up include: Forage and Biomass Planting, Critical Area Planting, Access Control, Prescribed Grazing, Fence, Livestock Pipeline, Pumping Plant, Spring Development, Water Well, Watering Facility, and Heavy Use Area Protection.

Interested producers are encouraged to visit their local USDA service center to apply or to learn more about drought assistance. The deadline to sign up for this special drought initiative is May 19, 2017.

Additional program requirements and information about EQIP is available on the Tennessee NRCS website at www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov.

EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns on agricultural and forest land.