USDA offers four initiatives for local farmers through March 15

agriculture initiative

In addition to rural farmland, agriculturally zoned land within Crestview city limits — such as this rolling hill country off Arena Road — is eligible for USDA agricultural initiatives.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 03:35 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The local U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced four initiatives that can help north Okaloosa County farmers improve their operations.

A list of these initiatives is as follows:

•Help producers install conservation practices on USDA-certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.

•Help producers install high tunnels — "in layman's terms, a greenhouse," Williams said— designed to extend the growing season, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.

•Help producers conserve energy on their operations.

•Help private landowners improve longleaf pine forest ecosystems' sustainability and profitability.

The initiatives offer "an additional chance ... to improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations and achieve other environmental benefits," according to a USDA news release.

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