USDA Announces Funding for Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP)

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the availability of funds for development of Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP ) by private-sector Technical Service Providers (TSPs). “This nationwide initiative is being implemented through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program or EQIP”, said Cherrie Brown, District Conservationist, “and is for the CNMP plan development only”. A CNMP is a conservation system plan that is unique to animal feeding operations (AFO/CAFO). It includes a set of conservation practices and management activities that address natural resource concerns dealing with manure and organic by-products and their potential impacts on water quality.

Applications for the CNMP initiative will be accepted on a continuous basis effective immediately. Applications will be ranked using established criteria and considered for funding. High priority applications will be selected for funding from a statewide pool of applicants soon after March 30 th and periodically thereafter. Unsuccessful applications will be maintained for future funding consideration if the applicant chooses to remain on the waiting list.

Existing or new 2007 EQIP contracts are also eligible to have the CNMP item added through a contract modification. Any 2007 EQIP contract that is livestock related and currently needs a CNMP is eligible for the CNMP initiative. This practice is not available for prior year contracts. Individuals with a prior year EQIP contract would need to sign up for a new contract under the CNMP initiative.

In order to be eligible for the payment, the producer must acquire a TSP who is registered for CNMP planning in TechReg (htt://techreg.usda.gov/). NRCS will not approve a contract until the applicant provides the name of the TSP and certification that the CNMP will be developed by December 31, 2007 . After contract approval, the participant will be responsible for working with the Technical Service Provider to get the CNMP written. When the CNMP is completed and accepted by NRCS, the incentive payment will be made to the contract participant. The participant will then be responsible for paying the TSP for the CNMP.

“Agricultural producers with animal waste storage and handling facilities or who apply animal wastes to their land and are encouraged to take advantage of this initiative,” added Brown. Those who are interested may apply at the NRCS Service Center or Cimarron County Conservation District at 210 S Cimarron , or by calling 580-544-2812 or 580-544-3048