USDA offers four initiatives for local farmers through March 15

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 03:35 PM.

While farmers yearlong may apply for most USDA programs' funding assistance, March 15 is the deadline to apply for conservation technical assistance and possible cost-share funding opportunities for the four initiatives, the release stated.

No north county farmers have participated in the high tunnel initiative, though producers in neighboring counties have erected several such tunnels, local district conservationist Darryl Williams said.

"It (the high tunnel) has to be located on cropland. You can't just go locate it anywhere," he said. "That's not to say urban individuals couldn't apply if they have an agriculture exemption on your property.

The high-tunnel initiatives can help boost a crop's longevity, Williams said.

"It helps our farmers, ranchers and gardeners that are growing a crop sustain the growing season into the winter months. It assists those who are certified organic farmers to extend their growing season. Basically, the initiative would help you purchase the materials."

Congress' recent September 2013 extension of the 2008 Farm Bill made the new initiatives possible, the release stated.

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