NRCS provides technical and financial assistance from EQIP to implement conservation practices needed to improve irrigation efficiency, nutrient cycling, plant and animal health, and other services of well-managed conservation systems specific to the needs of the Ogallala Aquifer.
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Colorado's ACT NOW Initiatives
- Colorado's ACT NOW Initiatives allows producers the opportunity to apply for applicable EQIP funding and those who have fully established eligibility records with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) have the potential to know if their project will be funded before leaving the UDSA service center.
- Please be prepared to provide information about your anticipated crop rotation, any soil testing, and other relevant resource information like a nutrient management plan, soil health assessment, and pest management plan, including a chemical list for crop fields you wish to enroll. This preparedness will help to facilitate planning your project. You will also want to ensure that you have worked with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to update all your agricultural producer records for fiscal year 2022.
- Additional ACT NOW Initiatives include:
The Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a vast yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States. It is one of the world's largest aquifers and covers an area in portions of eight states, which include Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.
Much of the High Plains region relies on the Ogallala for water but the water in the Ogallala Aquifer is diminishing because of widespread irrigation use in the High Plains states. In Colorado, water quantity and quality has been a high priority resource concern under EQIP. The additional funding will allow opportunity for agriculture producers to address these concerns.
By improving irrigating efficiency and implementing soil and water conservation systems, crop producers can benefit from using less inputs, lower expenditures for water and energy, and enhanced revenues through higher crop yields and improved crop quality. Additionally these improvements help maintain the long-term economic viability of the irrigated agricultural sector by offsetting the effect of restricted water supplies on income.
*NRCS accepts applications on an ongoing basis*
Apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and non-industrial forest managers.Learn More
Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) includes provisions that address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, and veteran farmers and ranchers (“historically underserved producers”).Learn More
The 2018 Farm Bill was enacted on December 20, 2018. The Farm Bill continues its strong support for conservation efforts of America’s farmers and ranchers through reauthorization and expanded flexibility of NRCS conservation programs.Learn More
Ready to get started?
Contact your local service center to start your application.
How to Get Assistance
Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?
Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.
To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.
NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.
We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:
- To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
- To meet other eligibility certifications.
Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.
Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.
As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:
- An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
- A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
- A farm tract number.
If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.
NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.
If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.
Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.