Applications being accepted for NRCS financial and technical assistance programs through November 17
RENO, Nev.—The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering financial and technical assistance to help agricultural producers apply conservation practices on private land and public land allotments. Applications for funds available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Program must be received by the local field office before 4 p.m. on November 17, 2023 to be considered in the first funding cycle.
Applications for EQIP and AMA are accepted year-round; however, only the applications received by Nov. 17 will be considered for funding during this cycle. Eligibility for applications received by the deadline will be determined by February 16, 2024 and money obligated by May 31, 2024.
EQIP is a voluntary, financial and technical assistance program providing funding to agricultural producers and non-industrial forest managers to address natural resource concerns like air, water and soil issues. EQIP projects include installing irrigation pipelines, lining ditches, cover crops, grazing related items like stock water systems, as well as habitat restoration. For Fiscal Year 2024, NRCS is increasing Climate-Smart Agricultural and Forestry Mitigation Activities eligible for Inflation Reduction Act funding through EQIP. These activities are expected to deliver benefits to natural resources like soil health, water quality, pollinator and wildlife habitat and air quality. To learn more, download the list of practices and a fact sheet. EQIP funding can be used on private and public land. Approximately $6 million is available for projects under regular EQIP, an additional $10.7 million is available through EQIP-IRA will be available in Fiscal Year 2024.
AMA program funds help producers use conservation to construct or improve watershed management structures or irrigation structures, install high tunnels, plant trees to form windbreaks or improve water quality. AMA funding can also mitigate financial risk through production or marketing diversification, or the implementation of resource conservation practices including soil erosion control, integrated pest management or the transition to organic farming. Approximately $300,000 is available in financial assistance for Fiscal Year 2024.
Historically underserved (HU) participants, including limited resource farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and veteran farmers and ranchers are eligible for advance payments to help offset costs related to purchasing materials or contracting services through EQIP. HU participants may elect to receive an advance of not less than 50 percent of the EQIP conservation practice payment amount. Participants who receive advance payment must expend the funds within 90 days of receiving the advance.
Water management entities who assist private agricultural producers with managing water distribution or conservation systems can also apply for EQIP. These entities are defined as a State, irrigation district, ground water management district, acequia, land grant-merced, or similar entity that has jurisdiction or responsibilities related to water delivery or management to eligible lands.
To learn more about EQIP and AMA, or for general information about NRCS programs, contact your local NRCS office. Office locations can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/working-with-us/service-center-locator.
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