USDA Announces the November 18, 2022 Application Deadline for Conservation Program Funding in New Mexico
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing the application deadline for conservation program funding in New Mexico as November 18, 2022.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, August 22, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing the application deadline for conservation program funding in New Mexico as November 18, 2022.
USDA NRCS provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits while also improving agricultural operations. Examples of potential environmental benefits include:
- Improved water and air quality
- Conserved ground and surface water
- Increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation
- Improved or created wildlife habitat
- Mitigation against drought and increasing weather volatility
Financial assistance is provided through a competitive process that includes creating a conservation plan, ranking applications, and establishing eligibility of the land and the applicant(s).
Information on the eligibility requirements, ranking criteria and ranking pools will be posted at the links below.
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and CSP Enhancements
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE)
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)
Although applications are accepted on a year-round basis, only applications received by November 18, 2022, will be considered for funding this fiscal year for projects where the majority of the land is located in New Mexico.
“Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible so that NRCS staff can begin working on the conservation plan which is the basis for program funding,” said Kenneth Branch, New Mexico Assistant State Conservationist for Programs. “Projects cannot start until the contract is obligated. The application deadline was set to give farmers and ranchers a few months to apply and still get contracts funded as early as possible in the year so that farmers and ranchers can start on their important projects. Field offices are ready to help you with your application and will conduct appointments and field visits following COVID guidelines.”
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Important Application Information
For EQIP, CSP and ACEP-WRE, applicants must submit the application form NRCS-CPA-1200 to NRCS. For CSP, applicants must also provide by the application deadline a map of the operation that shows the eligible acres. For ACEP-ALE, landowners must sign a pending offer with an eligible easement entity and the entity must submit the application materials to NRCS.
The following forms must be on file with FSA for each applicant selected for funding. The forms can be found at https://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov. Click ‘Browse Forms’ and enter the form number.
- AD-2047, “Customer Data Worksheet Request for Business Partner Record Change”
- AD-1026, “Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification”
- CCC-941, “Average Adjusted Gross Income Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information”
- CCC-902, “Farm Operating Plan”
About the Programs
EQIP, CSP and ACEP funding is authorized by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill). The program priorities are customized for each state and incorporate local priorities. EQIP provides a higher payment rate to historically underserved (HU) participants and also allows an advance payment to HU participants to help offset costs related to purchasing materials or contracting services through EQIP. Water management entities who assist private agricultural producers with managing water distribution or conservation systems are eligible to apply for EQIP. Water management entities are defined as the following: 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.
Applications are ranked using the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) which assesses the site vulnerability, existing conditions, and the effects of planned practices on selected resource concerns on a unit of land. For EQIP and CSP, no less than 5% of the available funding is used for Beginning Farmer and Rancher and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer and Rancher ranking pools. Through CART an application is ranked in all applicable ranking pools. Veteran Farmers and Ranchers receive program priority in some ranking pools. Projects located in source water protection areas may receive higher priority in a ranking pool and may receive higher payment rates in EQIP for practices that address water quality and/or water quantity.
Farmers.gov provides ample information on USDA assistance, including pandemic assistance, farm loans, disaster assistance, conservation programs and crop insurance. Self-service features allow participants to view farm records, submit applications and e-sign documents. Recently, USDA updated the navigation and organization of the site as well as added some new webpages, including “Get Involved,” “Common Forms,” and “Translations.
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