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Application cut-off period extended for EQIP and CSP IRA funding in Tennessee

A Washington County, Iowa, farmer plants soybeans into a green cereal rye cover crop.

New cut-off period set for April 21, 2023

NASHVILLE, March 27, 2023 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee announced an application cut-off period of Thursday, March 23, 2023, for Tennessee agricultural producers and forest landowners to submit applications to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program to adopt climate smart practices through the Inflation Reduction ActThe new application cut-off period is Friday, April 21, 2023.

The Inflation Reduction Act represents the single largest investment in climate and clean energy solutions in American history and is estimated to help hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers gain access to conservation assistance and apply conservation to millions of acres of land.

“This is a once-in-a-generation investment in climate-smart practices that create value and economic opportunities for Tennessee producers,” said NRCS Tennessee State Conservationist Sheldon Hightower. “Agriculture plays a critical role in Tennessee’s effort to address climate change and we’re using this funding to bolster our existing programs, maximize climate benefits, and foster other environmental benefits across the landscape.”

The Inflation Reduction Act provides increased funding levels over five years to support USDA’s conservation programs that yield climate change mitigation benefits, beginning in fiscal year 2023 and rapidly building over four years. This investment means that more producers will have access to conservation assistance through several NRCS conservation programs, including:

Producers interested in assistance for Environmental Quality Incentives Program – Inflation Reduction Act or Conservation Stewardship Program Inflation Reduction Act should apply by March 23 to be considered for funding in the current cycle. However, Tennessee NRCS accepts producer applications for its voluntary conservation programs year-round. Funding is provided through a competitive process and will include an opportunity to address the unmet demand from producers who have previously sought funding for climate-smart conservation activities.

For more information, contact your local NRCS office or contact Robert Boettcher, Acting Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, at, 615-277-2544. 

Click here to print full version of this news release.


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Our partners are experts in their fields and understand the challenges in their own backyards. Through RCPP we can tap into that knowledge, in partnership with producers and USDA, to come up with lasting solutions to the challenges that farmers, ranchers, and landowners face. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of public-private partnership at its best, made possible through these RCPP investments.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

News Release

Farmers encouraged to keep the stubble during no-till November

NASHVILLE, November 1, 2022 — The Natural Resources Conservation Service is encouraging Tennessee farmers to keep the tillage equipment in the machine shed during No-Till November. First launched in 2017, the NRCS project is a conservation twist on the national cancer awareness No-Shave November.

Not Till hi res image 2022
News Release

USDA NRCS in Tennessee now accepting FY 2023 EQIP applications

NASHVILLE, August 24, 2022 Producers in Tennessee who are interested in implementing conservation practices to improve natural resources on their farmland have until Friday, November 18, 2022, to submit their application for financial assistance through the NRCS.

News Release

USDA announces new opportunities to improve nutrient management

NASHVILLE, August 15, 2022 – The USDA welcomed the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which will deliver $19.5 billion in new conservation funding to support climate-smart agriculture. This historic funding will bolster the new steps that NRCS delivers.


Tennessee Articles, Photos and Videos

FY 2022 Pathway Students
Recruitment Video
State Conservationist Virtual Address for TACD Annual Meeting
Partnership: USDA and AgrAbility
Tennessee Pathways Internship Program
Hightower’s Quarterly Hustle
Hightower Weekly Update