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Press Release

USDA-NRCS Farm Bill Conservation Program and Inflation Reduction Act Climate-Smart Practices Signup Now Open in Rhode Island

A farmer and NRCS planner looking at a conservation plan in the field.

NRCS announces a December 15, 2023, ranking cut-off date for farmers and forest landowners to apply for the first period of FY 2024 conservation program funding through EQIP-IRA, CSP-IRA, AMA, CSP, EQIP and ACEP. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making more than $3 billion in funding available nationwide for farmers and forest landowners to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices in fiscal year (FY) 2024 as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The announcement comes as the Biden-Harris Administration hosts the first-ever White House Climate Resilience Summit. Learn more about available programs and Climate-Smart Practices…

In Rhode Island, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces a December 15, 2023, ranking cut-off date for farmers and forest landowners to apply for the first period of FY 2024 conservation program funding. Funds are available to Ocean State farmers and forest landowners through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Agricultural Management Assistance Program (AMA), and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Visit for details about program benefits, eligibility and requirements.

In fiscal year 2023 NRCS obligated over $3.7 million for 210 contracts to help apply conservation practices on over 9,500 acres in Rhode Island. Over 50% of this year’s contracts were awarded to beginning, limited resource or socially disadvantaged farmers. We also certified 719 conservation practices improving soil quality, irrigation efficiency, wildlife habitat and forestland vegetation condition on 17,818 acres and investing over $2.2M in our producers.

“Thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, we have additional resources to invest in climate-smart practices as we continue to see high demand for these popular conservation programs,” said USDA-NRCS State Conservationist, R. Phou Vongkhamdy. “This funding will be used to meet demand for our conservation programs and maximize climate benefits while also providing other important environmental benefits. This includes investing in popular common-sense practices like cover crops, forest management, waste and fertilizer management, and grazing practices, while continuing to work through existing programs to help farmers and forest landowners address other natural resource challenges. Ultimately, this will lead to economic opportunity for farmers, more productive soil, cleaner water and air, healthier wildlife habitat and natural resource conservation for future generations.”

Applying for Assistance

Funding is provided through a competitive process. NRCS accepts applications for its conservation programs year-round but sets state-specific ranking dates to evaluate applications for funding. These dates account for producer needs, staff workload and ensure potential participants have ample opportunity to apply. Interested participants should apply by December 15, 2023, to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Applications received after this ranking date will be automatically deferred to the next funding period. Apply at:

NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with conservation districts and the people of Rhode Island to improve and protect soil, water and other natural resources. For more information, visit


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Additional RI Program Information

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