Applications are being accepted through Feb. 25, 2011, to assist farmers and ranchers conduct on-farm energy audits to improve their overall energy efficiency.  The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) launched this initiative in fiscal year 2010 and this is the second year for applications.

"These audits help landowners understand their energy usage, and NRCS funding provides them opportunities to implement many of the recommendations from the audit," said Ed Burton, NRCS California state conservationist. "These audits are one of the ways that NRCS California helps farmers and ranchers conserve natural resources and protect the environment." 

Based on an audit's recommended actions, installing more energy efficient micro-irrigation systems, pumping plants or other irrigation water management systems are just a few of the many practices that NRCS can provide cost-share assistance to help implement.

Funding for this initiative is being made available through NRCS's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The on-farm energy audits, offered as EQIP Agricultural Energy Management Plans, must be conducted by certified technical service providers. Producers who have already had an on-farm energy audit that meets NRCS criteria may apply for technical and financial assistance to implement the audit's recommendations.

Interested producers should submit an application to their local NRCS office by the February 25 deadline.  For more information about NRCS California's programs and services, please visit

Since its inception in 1935, NRCS has worked in partnership with private landowners and a variety of local, state and federal conservation partners to deliver conservation based on specific, local needs.

Source: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service