Texas producers in the Panhandle and South Plains, Big Bend, and the Hill Country areas who have experienced a commodity crop failure due to naturally occurring and weather-related events may be eligible for financial assistance for multi-species cover crops through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), announced the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in a release May 21.
Soils in these Texas regions are highly susceptible to wind erosion if left exposed after a crop has failed during the growing season. Through the implementation of a multi-species cover crop, soil organic matter will increase which will improve soil health and mitigate the impacts of wind erosion.
To be eligible, producers must be in the applicable program area boundary and provide documentation of a crop failure due to naturally occurring events documented by the USDA- Farm Service Agency (FSA). If selected for funding, eligible producers will receive a one-year payment, per acre, towards the implementation of a multi-species cover crop.
The intial application deadline for funding is June 22, 2020. If applications are received after this date, NRCS will batch and fund applications on a bimonthly basis.
Applications are accepted year-round for NRCS programs, but deadlines are announced to rank and fund eligible conservation projects. Producers interested in signing up for EQIP should submit applications to their local USDA service center. Please locate your service center at https://www.farmers.gov/connect. Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and fieldwork will continue with appropriate social distancing.
EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers. Technical assistance is provided without a fee from NRCS specialists to help landowners and land managers plan and implement conservation practices to help them meet their land management goals, address natural resource concerns and improve soil, water, plant, animal, air, and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.
For additional information visit the NRCS Texas website at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.