2013 National EQIP Initiatives
On-Farm Energy Initiative: NRCS and producers develop Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP) or farm energy audits that assess energy consumption on an operation. NRCS then uses audit data to develop energy conservation recommendations. Each AgEMP has a landscape component that assesses equipment and farming processes and a farm headquarters component that assesses power usage and efficiencies in livestock buildings, grain handling operations, and similar facilities to support the farm operation.
Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative: NRCS helps producers plan and implement high tunnels, which are, steel-framed, polyethylene-covered structures that extend growing seasons in an environmentally safe manner. High tunnel benefits include better plant and soil quality, fewer nutrients and pesticides in the environment, and better air quality due to fewer vehicles being needed to transport crops. More than 225 high tunnels were planned for implementation in Kentucky through this Initiative in 2012. Please view the link to our Seasonal High Tunnel Brochure below for more information. Seasonal High Tunnel Brochure
Organic Initiative: NRCS helps certified organic growers and producers working to achieve organic certification install conservation practices for organic production. Organic payment rates have been established for qualifying practices and are included in the FY2013 EQIP Payment Schedule.
Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI): Through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and our partners work with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability in selected focus watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin. Kentucky MRBI Focus Watersheds are the Licking, Lower Green, Bayou de Chien/Mayfield Creek, and Red River. (KY MRBI watersheds map) Core and supporting practices offered through MRBI have been established in a partnership effort with the Kentucky Division of Conservation based on the natural resources being targeted in each watershed across the State. These core and supporting practices are included in the Kentucky EQIP Policy and Procedures. MRBI Fact Sheet for Kentucky
National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI): The National Water Quality Initiative will work in priority watersheds to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners improve water quality and aquatic habitats in impaired streams. NRCS will help producers implement conservation and management practices through a systems approach to control and trap nutrient and manure runoff. Qualified producers will receive assistance for installing conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips and terraces. More information specific to Kentucky’s targeted watersheds coming soon!
2013 State EQIP Initiatives
Wildlife Initiative: The purpose of the Wildlife Initiative is to help participants develop fish and wildlife habitat on private agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land and Indian land. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and others to develop or enhance upland, wetland, riparian, and aquatic habitat areas on their property.
Forestland Initiative: The 2008 Farm Bill placed increased emphasis on non-industrial private forestland. The purpose of the Forestland Initiative is to focus on practices that will improve forest health; promote forest management; educate landusers; and create enhance, and protect forestland bird habitat. See 2013 News Release announcing SKESH Initative in Kentucky
Southeast Kentucky Early Successional Habitat Initiative: The purpose of the Southeast Kentucky Early Successional Habitat Initiative is to establish fish and wildlife habitat on private agricultural land and nonindustrial private forestland in a highly forested area of the State with a large potential for early successional habitat improvement. Many wildlife species either depend on or greatly benefit from areas of young forest in proximity to older more mature forest stands. However, early successional habitats are generally lacking within the initiative area. Emphasis will be placed on forest stand improvement practices with the objective of creating or maintaining early successional forest habitat to benefit a suite of wildlife species. This initiative is available in the following Kentucky counties: Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Rockcastle, Whitley, and Wolfe. See 2013 News Release announcing SKESH Initative in Kentucky.
Applications for the National and State EQIP Initiatives will be evaluated during the ranking cut-off dates of January 18 and April 19, 2013.