Funding Available to Plant Farmstead Shelterbelts
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Forest Service is ready to help rural landowners qualify for funding to plant windbreaks (shelterbelts) around heated farmsteads.
The On-Farm Energy Initiative funds are part of USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The application periods for 2012 funds end March 30 and June 1.
To apply, landowners must schedule an appointment with the Natural Resource Conservation Service office in their local Farm Service Center. To qualify after that, however, applicants must prepare a tree planting plan that documents the energy savings their farmstead will realize from the proposed windbreak/shelterbelt.
“That’s where one of our district foresters can help. Research and experience both have shown all kinds of details can affect windbreak usefulness – its shape, distance from buildings, plant selections, moisture supply. Our foresters are willing to visit a farmstead, talk things over with the owner, and then prepare a design that should optimize the home’s long-term energy savings,” said Bob Atchison, KFS rural forestry coordinator.
The On-Farm Energy Initiative provides financial assistance to cover the majority of costs for buying and planting tree and shrub seedlings. Payment rates can vary from $1.49 per bare-root seedling and $2.57 per container-grown seedling up to $5.57 for balled seedlings greater than 18 inches. (The initiative does not cover other costs typically associated with establishing windbreaks, such as weed or grass control.)
“If an interested landowner happens to miss the 2012 deadlines, that’s okay,” Atchison said. “NRCS accepts Energy Initiative applications year-round. If it gets one after this year’s dates, NRCS will simply put it into the running for next year’s funds.”
Local NRCS contact information is available by accessing the Web or calling the Kansas NRCS Office at 785-823-4500. Contact information for Kansas’ district foresters is available or the KFS state office at 785-532-3300.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
Story by: Kathleen Wardkward@ksu.eduK-State Research & Extension News
Bob Atchison is at 785-532-3310