The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is NRCS’ flagship conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) officials in South Dakota have announced a call for Conservation Implementation Strategy (CIS) proposals for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. CIS projects are implemented to target high priority natural resource concerns, resulting in a measurable improvement of our resources.
"By planning our approach, we are able to prioritize and focus conservation investments in South Dakota," says Jeff Vander Wilt, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, Huron. "The NRCS is looking to form new partnerships with others interested in improving our natural resources. Through the CIS," Vander Wilt explains, "NRCS and partners will address specific resource concerns in a targeted manner. Collectively focusing our expertise and resources on the highest priority resource concerns in the highest priority areas will yield the most impressive returns. By working together through a partnership, we can combine our efforts to improve and conserve the resources that we all enjoy. "
NRCS has technical staff in the field and existing partners that are willing to aid in coordinating projects throughout the state. Funding and support from other agencies and groups can be leveraged and coordinated to focus on mutual issues of the highest priority.
Project proposals can be submitted by any partner or NRCS staff willing to develop the project proposal.
NRCS is committed to continual improvement of the approach by an ongoing discussion of challenges and successes through a steering committee made up of the Leadership Team, field and state staff.
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.