NRCS in Georgia announces a ranking date for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Interested producers must apply by November 4, 2022, for their application to be included in this batch of program funding.
Release No.: 01.23_Rev01
Revised News Release from October 3, 2022: This is a revised release to retract the Conservation Incentives Contract portion of this sign-up announcement. If that portion is reinstated, another news release announcement will be made at that time.
ATHENS, GA, October 3, 2022 — State Conservationist Terrance O. Rudolph of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today a statewide application ranking date for fiscal year 2023 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding. All Georgia agricultural and forest operators who wish to be considered for this year’s technical and financial assistance should apply by November 4, 2022.
While customers can apply year-round, this application ranking date announcement is for all general EQIP, as well as the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry initiative. Customers should discuss these sign-up options with your local conservationist to see if any are right for them.
“Our team of dedicated USDA-NRCS conservationists throughout Georgia are ready to assist our farmers, ranchers and private landowners make best use of their land and natural resources.” said Rudolph. “To do this, we use EQIP as one of our more utilized tools to help them achieve their economic and environmental goals.”
NRCS conservationists work with producers to assess the conservation needs on their land; identify resource concerns and opportunities; help determine objectives; and make recommend solutions - participation is 100% voluntary.
Interested producers can apply at their local USDA Service Center by submitting a Conservation Program Application (NRCS-CPA-1200).
EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and non-industrial forest managers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved or created wildlife habitat, and mitigation against drought and increasing weather volatility.
As a reminder, historically underserved producers approved for funding through EQIP, qualify for the advanced payment option. This option allows these producers to get conservation practice payments in advance of the practice implementation.
A historically underserved producer is described as one of the below:
- Beginning Farmer or Rancher – is new to farming or ranching or has operated a farm or ranch for less than 10-consecutive years.
- Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher – is a member of a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of that group without regard to their individual qualities.
- Veteran Farmer or Rancher – has served in the armed forces and has not operated a farm or ranch, has operated a farm or ranch for less than 10-consecutive years, or first obtained veteran status during the last 10 years.
- Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher – has a household income at or below the national poverty level. Eligibility can be determined by using this online tool.
Under the advance payment option, such producers may request payments when they have final designs and job sheets and are ready to begin their EQIP practices. Advance payments provide at least 50 percent of the payment rate for each practice. The funds must be spent within 90 days of receipt and practices must be completed as agreed to in an EQIP plan of operations. Producers also may opt to have NRCS pay the contractors or vendors directly via an assignment of payment.
NRCS provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment. More information on NRCS conservation programs can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/ or https://www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov under the Programs tab.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.