January 16 is the deadline for area ranchers and producers to get their applications for the 2015 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Ronald Goedecke, USDA-NRCS Okmulgee County District Conservationist, said the program is open to producers and landowners active in agricultural or forest production engaged in livestock, agricultural, or forest production on eligible land  that have a natural resource concern to be addressed.
The EQIP provides financial assistance for eligible producers to help plan and implement conservation practices that address existing natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.  Common conservation practices that may qualify are ponds and watering systems for livestock water, brush and weed control, erosion control, and grass establishment.
Eligible landowners and operators in Okmulgee County need to apply at the NRCS office located at the 719 E 8th in Okmulgee by January 16, 2015 to be considered for the current ranking period.  
"While local offices accept EQIP applications throughtout the year, NRCS evaluates applications during announced ranking periods," he said. To be eligible for this enrollment period, producers need to have their applications submbitted to NRCS by January 16.  
"Since there are changes that have been made in the EQIP Program under the new Farm Bill, it is important that producers and landowners learn more about this year's EQIP by viewing the NRCS website at: http://www.ok.nrcs.usda.gov or by calling or visiting the Okmulgee County NRCS field office."