CRESTVIEW — Agricultural producers in Florida and Okaloosa County may apply for financial assistance to restore longleaf pine and build habitat for northern bobwhite quail habitat.

Landowners can apply through May 19 for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program of the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

NRCS helps landowners plant and manage longleaf forests through practices such as prescribed burning, brush management, noxious weeds control, firebreaks and a host of other practices. Longleaf forests benefit both wildlife and land managers.

Private landowners can get financial and technical assistance to restore and protect quail habitat in Okaloosa County.

This effort targets pine savannas, where NRCS is working with producers to manage forests and develop wildlife openings and the diverse understory vegetation the bobwhite needs. These habitats provide the forbs, legumes and insects that bobwhite need for food and the heavy or brushy cover for nesting, brooding and safety.

Contact the Crestview USDA Service Center, 938 Ferdon Blvd. N., or 683-3714 extension 3, for more information. NRCS district conservationist Darryl Williams will help landowners develop a conservation plan customized to their land and assist with the application process.