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April 09, 2010   Email to Friend 

SIGN-UP BEGINS MONDAY FOR AWEP PROJECTS
Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
April 09, 2010

AWEP projects not only improve yields, but also water quality and irrigation efficiency.
AUBURN, Ala. -- The Natural Resources Conservation Service will begin accepting applications Monday, April 12, for projects under the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), according to State Conservationist Dr. William Puckett. The signup period ends on April 30.

Puckett said $1.1 million in financial assistance is available for qualified projects in the AWEP program with focus on the installation of upland storage ponds and stored water for summer irrigation.

Funding for this project was a direct result of a grant proposal by the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee, and the Alabama Universities Irrigation Initiative.

"We must take steps to protect and preserve our water resources, and AWEP provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to improve water conditions on their land," said Puckett.

Eligible practices under Alabama's AWEP include:

-- Constructing upland irrigation storage ponds

-- Installing pumps and pipelines to fill storage ponds

-- Irrigation system improvements or irrigation efficiency enhancements to improve the efficiency of and reduce the energy needs of existing irrigation systems

-- Installation of soil moisture sensors and water meters to monitor and improve irrigation efficiencies

AWEP was established by the 2008 Farm Bill and funding comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). NRCS administers AWEP by entering into EQIP contracts directly with agricultural producers.


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