2011 Environmental Quality Incentives Program
South Carolina 2011 State EQIP Sign-Up and Application Information
Conservation Programs Protect Soil, Water, and Wildlife
EQIP helps farmers improve production while protecting environmental quality by addressing such concerns as soil erosion and productivity, grazing management, water quality, animal waste, and forestry concerns. EQIP also assists eligible small-scale farmers who have historically not participated in or ranked high enough to be funded in previous program sign ups. WHIP assists landowners who want to improve wildlife habitat or restore natural ecosystems on their land.
There is a continuous signup for these programs; however, to increase your chances of funding, apply by September 30. Funding selections will be announced in the second quarter of 2011. Producers interested in applying should visit their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible to prepare their applications.
General Program Description
All sign-ups are conducted at USDA Service Centers in South Carolina.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. It supports production agriculture and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers may receive financial and technical help with structural and management conservation practices on agricultural land.
EQIP was reauthorized in the 2008 Farm Bill and is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
In South Carolina, EQIPwill pay 75 percent of the costs of eligible conservation practices under the general sign-up. Historically Underserved who are Limited Resource, Socially Disadvantaged, and Beginning Farmers are eligible for 90 percent cost share. Those to be considered Socially Disadvantaged for this program are American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders. Incentive payments may be made to encourage a farmer to adopt land management practices, such as nutrient management, manure management, integrated pest management, precision farming, and wildlife habitat management.
Organic Initiative and High Tunnel Study
The 2008 Farm Bill provides specific opportunities for organic producers and those transitioning to organic farming. South Carolina farmers who are transitioning to organic or who are currently certified organic can apply to receive assistance under the Organic Initiative through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Funding is also available through EQIP for a High Tunnel Pilot Study which will enable producers to experiment with structures (also called “hoop houses”) that can help them reduce pesticide use, keep vital nutrients in the soil, extend the growing season, increase yields, and provide other benefits to growers. A number of "core" organic conservation practices may be funded through the EQIP Organic Initiative, including cover crops, conservation crop rotation, prescribed grazing, pest management, nutrient management, and forage harvest management.
More Information about the Organic Initiative in South Carolina
2011 EQIP Overview and Application Tools
How EQIP Works in South Carolina
Links to Other Useful Documents for the 2010 EQIP Program