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Ag Producers Should Consider Signing-Up for Program Funding

Whether you’re an agricultural producer wanting to conserve water or address water, air, or animal waste issues; reduce erosion; improve wildlife habitat; obtain a seasonal high tunnel; or just plain improve conservation on your farming operation, it’s time to find out if you’re eligible for financial assistance through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). 

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program for those engaged in livestock, forestry, or agricultural production – including organics. It offers financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land. It also provides payments for implementing practices that have a positive environmental impact, while protecting long-term production and sustainability. Eligible crop production includes, but is not limited to, field-grown ornamentals, fruits, orchards, plant materials in greenhouses, row crops, vegetables, and vineyards.

The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Program provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations. Producers may construct/improve water management structures or irrigation structures or mitigate risk through production diversification or resource conservation practices including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transition to organic farming.

Although NRCS accepts applications year-round, to be eligible for current year funding you must ensure your application is submitted to your local NRCS office by December 21, 2018.

Not sure how to begin? Visit the Getting Started section of our website, then establish records and fill out eligibility forms. NRCS staff will need to complete an assessment of resource conditions and practice feasibility prior to making a determination of program eligibility.  

To find out more, fill out eligibility forms, or obtain an application, contact your local USDA Service Center: Danielson – (860) 779-0557; Hamden – (203) 287-8038; Norwich – (860) 887-3604; Torrington – (860) 626-8852; Windsor – (860) 688-7725.