Deena Wheby, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Application Deadline for USDA NRCS' Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is April 19, 2013
Lexington, Ky., February 26, 2013 — 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 funding opportunities. You can find local NRCS Field Office contact information at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
The application process for 2008 Farm Bill conservation programs is continuous, but funding selections are made at specific times throughout the year. The Kentucky NRCS application cutoff period date for consideration for 2013 funds in this sign up period is April 19, 2013.
Financial assistance is available to eligible applicants through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers 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.
Financial assistance is also available to eligible applicants through EQIP National and State Initiatives which include the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, Organic Initiative, On-Farm Energy Initiative, Wildlife Initiative, and Forestry Initiative. Stop by your local NRCS Field Office to find out what opportunities are available through each of these EQIP Initiatives.
“We’re reminding producers who missed the first cut-off period to get their applications in as soon as possible to be considered for this year’s funding” said Karen Woodrich Kentucky NRCS State Conservationist. “Those who submitted applications that were not selected for funding in the first period do not need to resubmit their applications; they will be reconsidered during the second period.”
All recipients of assistance are required to develop a Conservation 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. Woodrich added, “Applicants who applied without a conservation plan may wish to contact their local office to get a plan which may increase their chances for selection.”
For more information on NRCS, Conservation Planning and Farm Bill Programs visit us on the web at www.ky.nrcs.usda.gov.
For more information contact your local NRCS office. To locate an office near you visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?agency=nrcs.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).