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NRCS-WA announces FY23 EQIP-Riparian Buffer Program

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Flowers by pond at sunset

FY23 Application Deadline: Jan. 13, 2023

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. (Dec. 5, 2023) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington announced Jan. 13, 2023, as the FY23 application deadline for landowners interested in assistance installing riparian buffers.

The NRCS assistance can be provided through a new Environmental Quality Incentives Program for Riparian Buffers. The objective of the program is to help reduce sediment and lower surface water temperatures across Washington to help salmon habitat. The program will help financially compensate producers who voluntarily help achieve this objective by enrolling their lands.

Producers can choose between herbaceous or woody buffers, as well as native or non-native plantings that could potentially increase habitat for terrestrial animals, pollinators, and other wildlife. Producers are encouraged to talk with their local NRCS field office staff, who can help them tailor a conservation plan specific to their wants and needs. Ultimately, enrollment is completely voluntary, and producers have the final say in whether they adopt the plans developed with NRCS planners.

There are dozens of conservation practices producers can adopt to improve their riparian areas with NRCS. Each practice scenario has a payment rate associated with it, which can be combined with other practices within their conservation plan.

For more information on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, click here.

Each applicant must establish themselves as a USDA customer and obtain all Farm Service Agency (FSA) eligibility requirements by January 27, 2023. Please note, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) determination has been taking up to eight weeks to be processed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is highly recommended that applicants submit their completed AGI form to FSA several weeks prior to the FSA eligibility determination deadline. Submitting your AGI form to FSA on the last day of the application period will result in your AGI eligibility not being met by the deadline for Fiscal Year 2023.

To learn how to get started with NRCS, click here, or visit your local USDA service center