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Florida Land Steward Update, October 9, 2020

USDA OFFERS DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO LANDOWNERS AND AG PRODUCERS IMPACTED BY HURRICANE SALLY

Hurricane Sally’s flooding and high winds impacted agricultural operations in Florida and surrounding states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers, landowners, and livestock producers recover. Contact your local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to assist in recovery from crop, land, infrastructure and livestock losses and damages. Read more on available assistance programs here.

USDA NRCS ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM HELPS FARMERS, FOREST OWNERS, AND RANCHERS CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES

Florida farmers, ranchers, and forest owners can apply until Nov. 20 for financial and technical assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)  Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for fiscal year 2021 funding. Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis for all programs, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Through EQIP, agricultural landowners may receive financial and technical assistance to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals and related resources. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland and other farm or ranch lands. The application deadline also applies to the following EQIP-funded initiatives: Organic Initiative, On-farm Energy Initiative, Longleaf Pine Initiative, Working Lands for Wildlife, Working Lands for Wildlife Bobwhite Quail, and Strikeforce. Details on these EQIP Initiatives here.

Applications will be evaluated for funding based on local, state, and nationally developed criteria to optimize environmental benefits.  Applications ranking highest in a funding category will be funded according to priority and is subject to the availability of program funds. Visit your local NRCS field office to learn more.

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR THE HURRICANE MICHAEL TIMBER RECOVERY BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM

Registration for the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program  is available to forest landowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program is managed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) in conjunction with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Florida Forest Service (FFS), which will provide technical assistance to forest landowners required to produce documentation to receive compensation for their loss. The registration deadline is Friday November 20, 2020.

The direct link to the Block Grant web page is at FloridaDisaster.org/timber. Register there to begin the application process. For questions about the registration or application process call the FDEM hotline at 850-270-8317.  Please continue to share this information with those who need it.

For more details and tips on the application process and other information see the latest UF/IFAS Timber Recovery Block Grant blog post.

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD 2020 SHORT COURSE WEBINAR SERIES BEGINS OCTOBER 15, 2020 AT 2 PM ET

Join us this Thursday, October 15 at 2 pm ET (1 pm CT) for important tips on how to sell timber.
Florida Land Steward 2020 Short Course Webinar Series Schedule and Registration.

THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR OUR FOREST RECOVERY WEBINAR SERIES! RECORDINGS AND MATERIALS ARE ALL AVAILABLE ONLINE

Webinar recordings, links, presentation slides, and supplemental reading material associated with this Forest Recovery Webinar Series (and other past and upcoming events) are all available at Florida Land Steward Events and Webinars.

FUNDING AVAILABLE FROM THE NATURE CONSERVANCY (TNC) TO TREAT COGONGRASS IN CENTRAL PANHANDLE REGION OF FLORIDA

Do you have a cognongrass problem on property in Calhoun, Gadsden, or Liberty Counties?  The TNC North Florida Program has funding for 120 total acres of cogongrass treatment in counties surrounding the Apalachicola National Forest. Private landowners in Calhoun, Gadsden, and Liberty Counties who would like to be considered for this funding should contact Brian Pelc, (850) 222-0199 x103, bpelc@tnc.org

What does cognongrass look like? See this identification guide for cogongrass.

Doug and Teresa Moore at South Prong Plantation

DOUG MOORE, FLORIDA TREE FARMER, HAS RECEIVED NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR CONSERVATION EFFORTS

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Florida Land Steward partners are proud to announce that a Florida landowner is being nationally recognized for his proactive conservation and environmental practices, and outstanding stewardship of fish and wildlife resource, with the Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award.  Read more about this recognition here.

Don Ashley and his wife Tamara

CONGRATULATIONS DON ASHLEY AND THEO MEADOWS OF ASHLEY FARMS: 2020 JON GOULD FLORIDA OUTSTANDING TREE FARMERS OF THE YEAR

Ashley Farms of Madison County has been selected as the 2020 Jon Gould Florida Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year and serves as a model for encouraging other landowners to become great land stewards of their forests. See the video and read about Ashley Farms at the Florida Tree Farm Program web site.

GET READY FOR THE NEXT STORM

Hurricane season isn’t over yet. Don’t wait to get your forest property ready for the next storm.

The USDA Southeast Climate Hub with other USDA agencies and university Extension experts, have developed a set of guides for Florida agricultural producers. The guides are each tailored to a specific agricultural commodity and designed to help produces prepare for and recover from hurricane events. The guides are available on the USDA Southeast Climate Hub Website. Of interest to forest landowners on this page is the Pine Forest Landowners Guide.

CHECK OUT THE FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDAR OF WORKSHOPS, TOURS, WEBINARS AND OTHER RELATED EVENTS

Florida Land Steward News and Events Page Link

Don’t miss out on events, webinars, news, and opportunities. Sign up for email updates.

SIGN UP FOR FLORIDA LAND STEWARD EMAIL UPDATES

Don’t miss out on news and events! Sign up for the regular email updates! Send an email to Chris at cdemers@ufl.edu to be added to the email listserv. Florida Land Steward email updates are sent once a week or every other week and include the latest calendar of workshops, tours and other events; a link to the current issue of this quarterly newsletter; updates on cost-share and other assistance programs, opportunities, and resources; and other stewardship related news and information.

HAVE AN EVENT OR RELATED NEWS TO SHARE?

Drop a line with the details and link(s) to Chris Demers at cdemers@ufl.edu.