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JACKSON, Miss. (Press Release) — Landowners in Mississippi wanting to create or restore Longleaf Pine stands can apply for financial assistance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The Longleaf Pine Initiative is offered under the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to landowners in central and southern Mississippi. Applications for the Longleaf Pine program are taken on a continuous basis, however to be considered for funding in the 2014 fiscal year, the deadline is May 16, 2014.

The Longleaf Pine tree produces longer needles than other southern pines. They provide valuable forest products, pine straw production, scenic beauty, wildlife habitat and harbor many threatened and endangered species. Longleaf Pines are more resistant than other southern pines to insect, disease and fire. They can survive a prescribed burn at an earlier age.

Longleaf Pine tree nurseries have improved the quality of Longleaf seedlings by producing a tree that reduces the amount of time needed for the tree to grow out of the grass stage. These improvements allow the Longleaf Pine to compete with the early growth rates of other southern pine trees.

For additional information about the Longleaf Pine Initiative, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ms/programs/landscape/?cid=nrcs142p2_017188
To find your local NRCS office, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=MS&agency=NRCS.

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