Due to the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill and associated changes to NRCS programs, a new ranking cut-off date for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) will be announced soon. Farmers and forest land owners can apply at any time, but complete applications are periodically ranked for available funding.
Getting a conservation plan is the first step in applying for financial assistance under EQIP. Now would be an excellent time to contact your local NRCS office to start the conservation planning process.
EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order 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.
What's New in EQIP?
The former Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program was folded into EQIP.
Advance payment opportunities now exist for veteran agricultural producers.
Advance payments for socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans were raised from 30 percent to 50 percent.
Payment limitations are set at $450,000 with no ability to waive.