NRCS Announces February 21 Deadline for EQIP Funding in Missouri
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced a cut-off date of February 21 for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and four tie-in initiatives.
More than $11.8 million is available through EQIP, including $100,000 each for the On-Farm Energy, Seasonal High Tunnel, and Organic Initiatives. An additional $9.8 million is designated for the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI).
Missouri State Conservationist J.R. Flores says, “EQIP is a versatile program that helps all types of land users throughout the state in their efforts to preserve the quality of the natural resources upon which all life depends.”
EQIP is the agency’s largest Farm Bill conservation program. It helps producers of agricultural products improve water quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.
NRCS accepts applications for EQIP on a continuous basis, but producers must file applications by February 21 for consideration for the next round of application funding. Applications filed after February 21 will be considered in the next ranking period if funds are available.
EQIP offers farmers, ranchers, and forestland managers a variety of options to conserve natural resources while boosting production on their lands. EQIP also provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities, such as irrigation water management, reduced tillage, field buffers, rotational grazing systems, animal waste management systems, and much more.
MRBI is available through EQIP in 19 watersheds in north-central and southeastern Missouri. It provides incentives for farmers to use farming practices that can improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin, including water quality and wildlife habitat. Through MRBI, NRCS and its conservation partners help farmers who voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control and trap runoff, while continuing to maintain agricultural productivity and improve wildlife habitat. Click here, or contact your local NRCS office, to see if your land is within one of the eligible watersheds.
Applicants can sign up at their local NRCS service center. To find the service center nearest you, look in the telephone directory under, “U.S. Government, Department of Agriculture” or click here.
NRCS employees in county offices can provide more information about how to apply for benefits offered by NRCS through its programs.