USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Accepting 2022 EQIP - Cover Crop Initiative Applications through Jan. 18, 2022
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Arkansas will provide $5.2 million in fiscal year 2022 for the utilization of cover crops on agricultural land.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Jan. 4, 2022 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Arkansas will provide $5.2 million in fiscal year 2022 for the utilization of cover crops on agricultural land. The counties included as part of this targeted effort to improve soil health through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) are: Craighead, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, and St. Francis.
The EQIP Cover Crop Initiative (CCI) is aimed at improving soil health with conservation practice standard (CPS) 340 – Cover Crop through a targeted, rapid, and streamlined application and contract approval process. Through this initiative, NRCS can support the goals of agricultural producers and increase the critical benefits that cover crops provide.
“Cover crops have the potential to provide multiple benefits in a cropping system including preventing soil and wind erosion, supply nutrients and improving the availability of soil water,” said Mike Sullivan, NRCS state conservationist in Arkansas. “This funding will provide an opportunity for producers in the selected counties to plant the best cover crop species to meet their production and conservation goals for their farms.”
The EQIP-CCI application deadline is January 18, 2022, however through the streamlined application and contract approval approach, applications will be assessed and ranked as they are submitted to the field service center. Based on funds availability, application assessments with a ranking score of 150 points or greater will be preapproved immediately for the first batch of funding. Producers are encouraged to apply for the CCI funds at their earliest convenience. Funds will be obligated to selected applicants no later than February 4, 2022, for the first batch of funding. Additional sign-up batches may be announced at a later date, subject to the availability of funding.
Cover crops have the potential to provide multiple benefits in a cropping system. To learn more about cover crop termination guidelines, selection tools and more.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments due to the pandemic. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers by appointment and via phone, email, and other digital tools.