USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Accepting 2023 EQIP Applications through November 4, 2022
Farmers and landowners in Arkansas have until Nov. 4, 2022, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation activities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2023 program year.
LITTLE ROCK, September 27, 2022 – Farmers and landowners in Arkansas have until Nov. 4, 2022, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation activities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2023 program year. Applicants can sign up at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Service Center https://www.farmers.gov/.
Assistance is available to help farmers and landowners plan and implement conservation practices to improve water quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, establish or improve wildlife habitat and achieve other environmental benefits on the landscape. NRCS accepts program applications continuously. However, to be considered for funding during this signup applications must be received by Nov. 4, 2022. Applications received after this date will be considered in later funding periods, subject to funding availability.
EQIP contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices to improve soil health, water quality, improve grazing and forest lands, and establish or improve wildlife habitat. EQIP can also assist Arkansas producers meet Federal, State, and local environmental regulations.
Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives, including:
- Organic Initiative - helps producers install conservation practices on certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.
- On-Farm Energy Initiative - helps producers conserve energy on their operations.
- StrikeForce Initiative– additional assistance for underserved producers in 48 persistent poverty counties: Arkansas, Bradley, Chicot, Clark, Colombia, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Hempstead, Howard, Jackson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Phillips, Randolph, Searcy, Sevier, St. Francis, Woodruff, Ashley, Clay, Conway, Craighead, Crittenden, Franklin, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lincoln, Madison, Miller, Montgomery, Poinsett, Polk, Scott, Sebastian, Sharp, Stone, Union, and Van Buren.
- Strikeforce Healthy Forest (Keeping It In the Family) Initiative – additional assistance for underserved producers to improve forestlands with forestry conservation practices in 18 counties: Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Drew, Hempstead, Howard, Jefferson, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita, Pike, Sevier, Union.
- Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative - provides financial and technical assistance to producers to enhance early successional habitat to aid in bobwhite quail recovery.
- Arkansas Groundwater Initiative (AGWI) - targeted approach to address critical groundwater decline issues in the Arkansas Delta, providing assistance to agricultural producers in seven counties: Arkansas, Prairie; and portions of Craighead, Cross, Lonoke, Poinsett, and St. Francis.
- National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) Existing Projects – provides financial and technical assistance to improve water quality and aquatic habitats in priority watersheds with impaired streams. Projects include: Brush Creek-Roberts Creek in Washington and Madison counties.
- Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) Existing Projects – provides assistance to improve water quality in the following project areas: Cache – portions of Woodruff, Jackson and Cross counties, Middle Cache – portions of Jackson, Woodruff, Poinsett and Craighead counties, Lower St. Francis – portions Crittenden, Cross and St. Francis counties, Upper Lower St. Francis – portions of Clay and Green counties, Cadron Creek Brewer Lake – portions of Conway and Faulkner counties, Candy Creek – portions of Cross, St Francis, and Woodruff counties, Canal 43 – portions of Desha and Chicot counties, Twin Creeks – portions of Cross and Woodruff counties, Izard Lower Strawberry – portions of Izard and Sharp counties, County Line Strawberry – portions of Lawrence and Sharp counties, Flat Hills – portions of Poinsett and Cross counties, Glade-Raft-White Oak Creek – portions of White and Prairie counties, Lee County – portion of Lee county, Lower White-Bayou Des Arc – portion of Prairie county
All applications will be evaluated for funding based on local, state and nationally developed criteria to optimize environmental benefits. Applications ranking highest in a funding category will be funded according to priority and is subject to availability of program funds.