Now is the time for agricultural producers to sign up for FY19 financial assistance to implement conservation practices on their land through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program or EQIP.
EQIP financial assistance for this signup is available through specific program and landscape initiatives. Sign up is currently underway. The completed and submitted application deadline is November 16, 2018.
Program Initiatives are the National Air Quality Initiative, National On-Farm Energy Initiative, National Organic Initiative, High Tunnel System, and the StrikeForce Initiative. Landscape Conservation Initiatives included are the Long Leaf Pine Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, Working Lands for Wildlife and the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project. Other eligible activities will include Disaster Relief Funding, Conservation Activity Plans and WaterSmart. Any applications submitted in FY18 under the above programs and initiatives that were not funded will be deferred to this first EQIP signup for FY19.
Additionally, applications for the Regional Conservation Protection Program or RCPP-EQIP will include the Texas Gulf Coast Stream and Wetland Initiative and OPJV – Grassland Restoration Incentive Program.
EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.
This Farm Bill program is a competitive process and EQIP applicants compete for funds in funding pools. Various funding pool categories allow similar application types to be grouped together when competing for funds. In order to compete, EQIP applications are ranked using environmental ranking points based on planned practices and resource concerns being addressed. Local NRCS field office staff will work with the applicant to rank the application and plan the conservation practices.
Applications for EQIP are accepted on a continuous basis. Producers interested in EQIP can contact their local USDA service center.