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FARMINGTON — Applications are being accepted for a program that provides funding to farmers who are looking to improve farms in the Animas River valley.

Funding from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available for improvements such as transitioning from flood irrigation to gated pipes and sprinklers.

The program provides financial and technical assistance to farmers for planning and implementing conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant and related natural resources in agricultural areas.

The funding is being made available through the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Animas Watershed Initiative.

To be eligible, a farmer's income must come from the sale of produce, crops or livestock grown or raised on his or her property. Those who grow produce for personal consumption or raise livestock for pleasure do not qualify for the program.

The deadline to submit applications is Friday. They must be submitted to the Natural Resource Conservation Service's Aztec field office, 1427 W. Aztec Blvd., Suite 1 in Aztec.

For more information, call Melissa May with the San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District at 505-334-3090, extension 109, or David Tomko with the San Juan Watershed Group at 505-632-8008.

Information can also be found at nrcs.usda.gov in the "Financial Assistance" section under "Popular Topics."

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