Idaho Soil Health Initiative

The new EQIP Soil Health Initiative in Idaho promotes improving soil health to reduce wind and water erosion. Producers may apply for financial assistance to help carry out one or more of the core conservation practices to improve their farm’s soil health. The application cut-off date is March 15th for fiscal year 2013 funding.

Cover crop growing near St. Anthony,
October 2012, 40 days after planting
Turnip and pea cover crop broadcast
into stubble near St. Anthony
Approved practices for the 2013 Idaho Soil Health Initiative:
Practice Name Practice Name
Conservation Crop Rotation Vegetative Barriers
Residue Mgt., No-Till, Strip Till, Direct Seed Herbaceous Wind Barriers
Residue Mgt., Mulch Till Field Border
Cover Crop Forage and Biomass Planting
Conservation Cover Deep Tillage
Filter Strip Strip Cropping
Pest Management Mulching
Nutrient Management  

For payment schedule information refer to the EQIP Special Projects Payment Schedule’ on the Idaho State EQIP Ranking and Payment Schedules page.

Additionally, combining several practices to make a soil health management system can provide conservation benefits such as: lowering energy costs by reducing tillage, decreasing disease and pest problems, limiting weed growth, improving plant health, and increasing soil biodiversity. 

A system considers these four basic principles to improve soil health:

  1. Keep the soil covered as much as possible
  2. Disturb the soil as little as possible
  3. Keep plants growing throughout the year to feed soil organisms
  4. Diversify as much as possible using crop rotation and cover crops

EQIP is a voluntary program assisting growers and landowners to plan and install measures that protect the soil, water, air and other natural resources on their working land. 

NOTE:  Applications for General EQIP signup are accepted on an ongoing basis.

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