2013 Missouri Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
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The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized in the “Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008” (Farm Bill) to provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production, forest management, and environmental quality as compatible national goals. Through EQIP, eligible participants may receive financial and technical assistance on agricultural land to implement structural and management conservation practices, to optimize environmental benefits.
EQIP offers contracts with a minimum term that ends one year after the implementation of the last scheduled practices and a maximum term of ten years. These contracts provide financial assistance to implement conservation practices that meet the applicable conservation practice standard and as described in specific policy for that fund pool. Contract payment reimbursement can only be made when NRCS determines the practice has been installed in accordance with the applicable conservation practice standard.
Missouri’s EQIP is developed using locally led conservation through Local/County Work Groups, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the Missouri State Technical Committee. National priorities and national measures are also an important consideration in the EQIP development and ranking of applications.
Owners of land in agricultural production or persons who are engaged in livestock or agricultural production on eligible land may participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP practices and activities are carried out according to an EQIP plan of operations developed in conjunction with the producer that identifies the appropriate conservation practice or measures needed to address the resource concerns. All conservation practices must meet NRCS technical standards to receive EQIP financial assistance. NRCS is not required to provide financial assistance for all activities required to meet the applicable NRCS technical standard. Producers may elect to use an approved independent third-party provider for technical assistance, if available. Information about third-party technical assistance is available at USDA TechReg. Note: a practice started before the EQIP contract is approved by NRCS is not eligible for financial assistance.
As required by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill), 60 percent of EQIP funds will be targeted to livestock related conservation practices. In Missouri, livestock related conservation practices are generally available using Missouri Pasture/Hay Land Use funds and Missouri Animal Feeding/Waste Operations funds.
How to Apply for EQIP
Interested parties may apply for EQIP at their local NRCS office located in the USDA Service Center. Your local USDA Service Center agencies are also listed in the telephone book under United States Government, Department of Agriculture.
EQIP applications are accepted year round; however, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" dates for evaluation and ranking of eligible applications. NRCS personnel will assist each applicant to complete their application in each applicable fund pool.
To begin the application process for EQIP, applicants must submit a recently-signed NRCS-CPA 1200 Conservation Program Application.
Fiscal Year 2013 EQIP Application Evaluation Cut-off Dates
FY13 EQIP applications submitted after January 18, 2013, will be held for potential funding under any additional FY13 EQIP evaluation period, or until allocated FY13 EQIP funds are fully obligated in contracts.
Two additional applications are now available: National Water Quality Initiative (deadline, June 21) and Edge of Field Water Quality Monitoring (deadline, June 14).
Available FY13 EQIP Financial and Technical Assistance
National Water Quality Initiative Applications
The National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) will assist eligible Missouri producers to address high-priority water resource concerns in selected small watersheds with impaired streams and/or waterbodies. Financial assistance is available specifically for implementation of conservation practices addressing surface water resource concerns of excessive nutrient & organics and excessive suspended sediment & turbidity. Financial assistance under the NWQI is available for EQIP eligible producers in the following watersheds:
Applications must be received by the close of business June 21 to be considered for funding. Information on practices available for financial assistance in Missouri for the FY13 EQIP National Water Quality Initiative are in the Missouri FY13 EQIP National Water Quality Initiative Policy.
Edge of Field Water Quality Monitoring Applications
The Edge of Field Water Quality Monitoring project is an effort to help farmers improve and/or verify the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices and systems on their farm field. As part of the project, monitoring equipment will be installed to evaluate the quality of water draining from a farm field. Funding is provided for both monitoring system installation and also collecting and evaluating the data. Farmers will work with a monitoring professional (private or public) as well as NRCS on this project.
Financial assistance under the Edge of Field Water Quality Monitoring project is available for EQIP eligible producers in 94 small (12 digit priority) watersheds in Missouri. Those 94 watersheds are contained within seven larger watersheds. The seven watersheds are: Cache River, Little River Ditches, and Lower St. Francis watersheds in southeastern Missouri; North Fork Salt, South Fork Salt and Lower Grand watersheds in the northern part of the state; and Opossum Creek-North Fork Spring River watershed in southwestern Missouri. Click to view map.
Applications must be received by the close of business June 14 to be considered for funding. Interested landowners should contact the local NRCS office for assistance in determining if their farms are within one of the included 12-digit priority watersheds. Applications will be evaluated nationally, and compete with water-quality projects in other states for funding. Information on practices available for financial assistance in Missouri for the FY13 EQIP Edge of Field Water Quality Monitoring Project are in the Missouri FY13 EQIP Edge of Field Water Quality Monitoring Project Policy.
Crop, Forest, Pasture/Hay Land Use Applications
Applications in each of these three separate area-wide Land Uses, will be evaluated for funding with other eligible applications in that same Land Use in that same Area. The national concerns have been developed by national staff, the state concerns were developed based on input from the State Technical Committee, conservation partners and NRCS technical and program staffs, while the local concerns are based on area-wide compilations from each county’s Local Work Group in that specific area. Applicants who provide a written request, and qualify, for funds targeted to Beginning Farmer/Rancher (BF) and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer/Rancher (SDF) will compete on a statewide basis with similar (BF or SDF) applicants under the applicable Land Use.
Animal Feeding/Waste Operations Applications
Eligible applicants requesting EQIP financial assistance for practices associated with animal feeding/waste facilities must have a current Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) that references the installation (need) of the animal feeding/waste practices on the acres requesting assistance, prior to NRCS providing technical or financial assistance (payments). An applicant may request EQIP financial assistance to use an approved independent third-party provider for development of a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan for all waste-generating animals and waste management operations under their control. Information about third-party technical assistance is available at USDA TechReg. Eligible FY13 EQIP Animal Feeding/Waste (AF/W) applications will compete for funds on a statewide basis. Applicants who provide a written request, and qualify, for Animal Feeding/Waste funds targeted to Beginning Farmer/Rancher (BF) and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer/Rancher (SDF) will compete on a statewide basis with other BF Animal Feeding/Waste applications or SDF Animal Feeding/Waste applications.
Information on practices available for financial assistance in Missouri for the FY13 EQIP Crop, Forest, and Pasture/Hay Land Uses and the Animal Feeding/Waste Operations are in the Missouri FY13 EQIP Policy.
National Energy Initiative Applications
The EQIP Energy Initiative (EI) is designed to assist eligible applicants in two ways: (1) Identify ways to conserve energy on their farms through an on-farm energy audit as detailed in an Agricultural Energy Management Conservation Activity plan, and (2) Provide assistance to implement specific conservation practice standards. Eligible FY13 EQIP Energy Initiative (EI) applications will compete for funds on a statewide basis. Information on practices available for financial assistance in Missouri for the FY13 EQIP Energy Initiative (EI) are in the Missouri FY13 EQIP Energy Initiative (EI) Policy.
National Seasonal High Tunnel Applications
The EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative (HTI) has the potential to assist eligible applicants in addressing resource concerns on cropland such as improving air, plant & soil quality, reducing nutrient & pesticide transport, and reducing energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh producer, in an environmentally safe manner. Eligible FY13 EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative (HTI) applications will compete for funds on a statewide basis. Information on practices available for financial assistance in Missouri for the FY13 EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative (SHTI) are in the Missouri FY13 EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative (SHTI) Policy.
National Organic Initiative Applications
The EQIP Organic Initiative (OI) provides assistance to eligible applicants to install conservation practices on agricultural operations related to organic production, whether those operations are certified organic producers or producers who are transitioning to become certified organic or producers who fall under the exempt category in the National Organic Program (NOP) regulation. Eligible FY13 EQIP Organic Initiative (OI) applications will compete for funds on a statewide basis. Information on practices available for financial assistance in Missouri for the FY13 EQIP Organic Initiative (OI) are in the Missouri FY13 EQIP Organic Initiative (OI) Policy.
For more information on the EQIP Organic Initiative click here.
A certified conservation planner will assist you to develop a conservation plan addressing the resource concerns on your farm for the applicable land use and funding opportunity available in Missouri’s Fiscal Year 2013 EQIP. NRCS Field Office staff will also assist you to complete all required information for your FY13 EQIP application.
Other FY13 EQIP Funding Initiatives – Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiatives
Passage of the 2008 Farm Bill has several opportunities for conservation partners to leverage their resources with FY13 EQIP technical and financial assistance provided by NRCS, in order to address mutually beneficial resource concerns on agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands. The Cooperative Conservation Partnership (CCPI) is a voluntary conservation initiative that allows NRCS to enter into partnership agreements with eligible entities, and combine financial and technical resources to enhance conservation outcomes on eligible agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands in Missouri.
The first FY13 EQIP-CCPI evaluation period for prior year Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiatives will END close-of-business Friday, February 15, 2013.
FY13 EQIP CCPI applications submitted after February 15, 2013, will be held for potential funding under any additional FY13 EQIP CCPI evaluation period, or until allocated FY13 EQIP CCPI funds are fully obligated in FY13 contracts.
Funding levels for CCPI projects funded in previous years has been established. Producers with land located in the following counties may apply for FY13 EQIP CCPI financial assistance for the project-specific conservation practices, as indicated below:
CCPI – Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI)
To improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin, including water quality and wildlife habitat, NRCS developed the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI). Through CCPI-MRBI, NRCS and its conservation partners will help producers in previously-selected watersheds voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control and trap runoff, while maintaining agricultural productivity and improving wildlife habitat.
Currently Missouri NRCS has entered into CCPI-MRBI Partnership Agreements with sixteen Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) for 22 CCPI-MRBI projects in Missouri. Funding levels for CCPI-MRBI projects approved in previous years have not been finalized at this time, so project-specific descriptions of FY13 EQIP CCPI-MRBI Financial assistance is UNDER DEVELOPMENT. The first FY13 EQIP-MRBI evaluation period for all prior year MRBI watersheds will END close-of-business Friday, February 15, 2013. FY13 EQIP MRBI applications submitted after February 15, 2013, will be held for potential funding under any additional FY13 EQIP MRBI evaluation period, or until allocated FY13 EQIP MRBI funds for these prior-year projects are fully obligated in FY13 contracts.
Missouri EQIP Contact Information
R. Darlene Johnson:Program Coordinator
USDA NRCS State Office
Parkade Center, Suite 250
601 Business Loop, 70 West
Columbia, MO 65203
Lauren A. Cartwright: National Initiatives (Energy, High Tunnel, Organic)
USDA NRCS State Office
Parkade Center, Suite 250
601 Business Loop, 70 West
Columbia, MO 65203
Missouri EQIP Archives
National EQIP Information