USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in North Carolina will be accepting applications for the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) until May 6, 2011.

AWEP is a voluntary conservation initiative that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to implement agricultural water enhancement activities on agricultural land for the purposes of conserving surface and ground water and improving water quality.

This year's focus is on irrigation systems. If you are interested in signing up, please contact your local NRCS office today."

Also, USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) will be holding a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up from March 14 through April 15, 2011.

CRP is a voluntary program that helps agricultural producers use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits.

Producers enrolled in CRP plant or maintain long-term, resource-conserving covers to control soil erosion, improve water and air quality and enhance wildlife habitat.

More information on sign-up 41 is available at your local FSA office.