The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Maine has announced that it has received fiscal year 2012 Agricultural Management Assistance program funds for irrigation assistance to private landowners in Maine. Approximately $294,000 will be made available to both large- and small-scale irrigators. The deadline for applications is Friday, Feb. 10.

AMA, administered by NRCS, is available in 16 states where participation in the Federal Crop Insurance Program is historically low, according to a press release from USDA. AMA assists agricultural producers to manage risk and voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality and erosion control by incorporating conservation practices into their farming operations.

“This program gives landowners an additional opportunity to construct or improve their water management structures and to mitigate risk through production diversification or resource conservation practices,” said Juan Hernandez, state conservationist for NRCS in Maine, in a press release. “This will benefit not only the landowner, but their neighbors and community as well.”

Under AMA, contracts will have a one to 10-year contract period, and the practices must be maintained for the life of the practice. There is a $50,000 per-year payment limitation, per participant.

Sign-up for AMA is available on a continuous basis. Landowners can sign up for this program at their local USDA Service Center/Natural Resources Conservation Service office, listed online at offices.usda.gov or in the telephone book under United States Government, Agriculture Department. Applications received by Feb. 10 will be considered for funding in fiscal year 2012.

Producers interested in the AMA Program should visit their local USDA Service Center, listed online at offices.usda.gov or in the telephone book under United States Government, Agriculture Department. For additional program information visit the Maine NRCS website at me.nrcs.usda.gov.

For more information about AMA and other NRCS conservation programs, visit a local USDA Service Center or go to me.nrcs.usda.gov.