USDA extended the deadline for completion of environmental projects to qualify for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) energy cost assistance to Sept. 1. The original deadline for completion of the EQIP projects was June 30 to receive incentive payments.

USDA Secretary Mike Johanns says recent energy-price surges have forced farmers and ranchers to put various conservation practices on hold.

"As part of our commitment to help mitigate the impact of high energy costs on ag producers, this cost adjustment and time extension will lessen the impact of energy prices on farmers and ranchers, while protecting our natural resources," Johanns says.
For more info, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent