EQIP022912Release | Kentucky NRCS
USDA NRCS IN KENTUCKY ANNOUNCES FEBRUARY 29, 2012 AS THE SECOND APPLICATION PERIOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM (EQIP)
United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
771 Corporate Drive Suite 210
Lexington, KY 40503
Lexington, Ky., February 16, 2012 - The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kentucky is encouraging landowners, farmers and producers to visit their local NRCS office now to receive more information and apply for conservation technical assistance and possible financial assistance opportunities. The application process for 2008 Farm Bill conservation programs is continuous, but funding selections are made at specific times throughout the year. The first application ranking cutoff date for consideration for 2012 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding was November 15, 2011. A second sign up period has been announced and will run through February 29, 2012.
Applications for the following programs will be accepted during this period:
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Through EQIP, NRCS develops contracts with agricultural producers to voluntarily implement conservation practices. Persons engaged in livestock or agricultural production and owners of non-industrial private forestland are eligible for this program. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands.
The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) began in 2009 with a goal of reducing, mitigating and controlling nutrient levels in surface waters, thus improving the water quality in small watersheds within the Mississippi River Basin. In conjunction with multiple partners, including state agencies, conservation districts, environmental groups, and farming interests, NRCS Kentucky has three MRBI focus watersheds with boundaries entirely in Kentucky: Licking River, Lower Green River and the Bayou de Chien-Mayfield Creek. Eligible land within specific subwatersheds of the focus areas can take advantage of focused EQIP financial and technical assistance to develop contracts, which address resource concerns within the focus areas. Please contact your local field office to determine land eligibility.
"We're urging producers to get their applications in as soon as possible to be considered for this year's funding," said Karen Woodrich, State Conservationist.
All recipients of assistance are required to develop a conservation plan and must have a state Agricultural Water Quality Authority plan. Conservation planning is an integral part of the conservation process. Landowners should work with a conservation planner to develop the plan based on the landowner's operational goals to improve the productivity, sustainability and profitability of their operation. The conservation plan will serve as a roadmap to a variety of technical assistance and financial assistance through EQIP, as well as other options available to the landowner. "We're getting back to our agency's roots with conservation planning," says Woodrich. "Conservation planning is the vital first step in understanding natural resources on your land, and also understanding how technical and financial conservation assistance can be incorporated into your operation to help you help the land."
For more information on NRCS, Conservation Planning and Farm Bill Programs visit us on the web atwww.ky.nrcs.usda.gov. You can find local NRCS Field Office contact information athttp://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.