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Attention Ag Producers: It’s Time to Apply for FY2021 Conservation Program Funds

Are you an agricultural producer wanting to conserve water or address water, air, or animal waste issues? Are you looking to reduce erosion; improve wildlife habitat; or maybe obtain a seasonal high tunnel? Maybe you just plain want to improve conservation on your farming operation. Sound like you? Then why not 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. EQIP 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 is a voluntary program that provides financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers to implement seasonal high tunnels, and to address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control. Eligible crop production includes – but is not limited to – field-grown ornamentals, fruits, orchards, plant materials in greenhouses, row crops, vegetables, and vineyards. Each eligible conservation practice has a Practice Payment Rate which is a fixed amount based on regional costs of a typical installation of that practice.

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 November 20, 2020. Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, our offices are not currently open to the public. However, we can assist you remotely. Please call your local USDA Service Center (listed below) for assistance.

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.