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EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts up to a maximum term of ten years in length. 

These contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air, conserve energy, and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.  In addition, a purpose of EQIP is to help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations.

 

Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced the opportunity for producers to participate in the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative being offered through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

The Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers.  The goal of the initiative is to assist producers to extent the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. 

The Initiative may assist producers in addressing a resource concern by:

  • improving plant quality
  • improving soil quality
  • reducing nutrient and pesticide transportation
  • improving air quality through reduced transportation inputs
  • reducing energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh produce.

Who Can Apply

 

Eligible applicants include individuals, legal entities, Indian Tribes, or joint operations engaged in agricultural production.  Organic producers who grow agricultural commodities on eligible land and have natural resource concerns which may be addressed by a seasonal high tunnel may participate in the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. 

Eligible producers interested in entering into a financial assistance agreement with NRCS for EQIP assistance may file an application at any time.  Applicants must be:

  • an agricultural producer and have control of eligible land for the term of the proposed contract period; eligible land includes cropland
     
  • in compliance with the provisions for protecting the interests of tenants and sharecroppers, including the provisions for sharing EQIP payments on a fair and equitable basis
     
  • in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation compliance provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill.
     
  • within appropriate payment limitation requirements, as specified in the 2008 Farm Bill.
     
  • in compliance with adjusted gross income requirements of the 2008 Farm Bill.

EQIP Application Information

 

NRCS accepts and processes  EQIP applications on a continuous basis. However, NRCS has established the following dates for the ranking of eligible applications for the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative:

Application Period 1:From program announcement to February 3, 2012.
Application Period 2:From program announcement to March 30, 2012.
Application Period 3:From program announcement to June 1, 2012.

Applications submitted after these dates will be evaluated and considered for funding in later funding opportunities.  Producers must submit a complete program application and other documentation to support eligibility to be considered for financial assistance through EQIP

Information about how to apply for assistance through EQIP is available online.  Click on the State where the property that you are interested in enrolling in EQIP is located.  This will take you to that State's Programs home page, which will link to that State's EQIP page.

Supporting Practices

 

The following list of practices are also available to producers (as applicable to their state) to support the Seasonal High Tunnel Practice to help ensure that the resource concerns are addressed while implementing and managing the Seasonal High Tunnel:

  • Conservation Crop Rotation
  • Contour Farming
  • Cover Crop
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Diversion
  • Grassed Waterway
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Irrigation Reservoir
  • Irrigation System, Microirrigation
  • Irrigation Water Management
  • Nutrient Management
  • Residue and Tillage Management, Mulch Till
  • Residue and Tillage Management, No Till/Strip Till/Direct Seed
  • Residue and Tillage Management, Ridge Till
  • Residue Management, Seasonal
  • Row Arrangement
  • Subsurface Drain
  • Surface Drainage, Field Ditch
  • Underground Outlet

In addition the following Conservation Activity Plans  (CAPs) are available to support the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative:

  • Nutrient Management Plan
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan
  • Irrigation Water Management Plan

Additional Information

 

2012 EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative Factsheet (PDF, 144KB)

National Bulletin 300-12-5, EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative – Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 is NRCS policy guidance and instructions to agency staff to implement the fiscal year 2012 Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative.

National Bulletin 300-12-13, EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative - Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Supporting Practices is NRCS policy guidance and instructions to agency staff to implement supporting practices for the fiscal year 2012 Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative.

The Seasonal High Tunnel Practice Payment Schedule (PDF, 63KB) provides the payment information for producers adopting the seasonal high tunnel practice.

Seasonal High Tunnel Practice Standard (798) defines what a high tunnels is and where and how to use one.

 

 

Chief’s Initiative Announcement Video The preceeding link takes you off the NRCS websitediscusses the four new EQIP Initiatives on YouTube.