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NRCS Accepting Applications for FY2022 Conservation Funding Opportunities

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reminds agricultural producers and private landowners they are accepting applications for FY2022 key programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP); Conservation Stewardship Program -Classic (CSP); Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) for the Southern New England Heritage Forest; and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA). While NRCS accepts applications year-round, producers and landowners should apply by state-specific ranking dates to be considered for this year’s funding. This includes:

Through conservation programs, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help producers and landowners make conservation improvements on their land that benefit natural resources, build resiliency, and contribute to the nation’s broader effort to combat the impacts of climate change.  

“NRCS conservation programs are good for our state’s natural resources and for your operation’s bottom line,” said Thomas L. Morgart, NRCS State Conservationist in Connecticut.

Producers, landowners, and forest managers interested in applying for assistance should contact their local USDA Service Center.

EQIP provides cost share assistance for producers to use 170-plus conservation practices to address a wide variety of resource concerns. Within EQIP, Conservation Incentive Contracts allow producers to further target priority resource concerns. CSP helps producers take their conservation activities to the next level through comprehensive conservation and advanced conservation activities. Additionally, through the RCPP Southern New England Heritage Forest project, producers and landowners who have obtained a Forest Management Plan with a bird habitat assessment through The Last Green Valley may apply for implementation of forestry practices.

Special provisions are available for historically underserved producers. For EQIP, historically underserved producers are eligible for advance payments to help offset costs related to purchasing materials or contracting services up front. In addition, historically underserved producers can receive higher EQIP and AMA payment rates (up to 90% of average cost). NRCS sets aside EQIP and CSP funds for historically underserved producers. 

NRCS conservation programs play a critical role in USDA’s commitment to partnering with farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and local communities to deliver climate solutions that strengthen agricultural operations and rural America. States may prioritize a variety of voluntary conservation practices through these NRCS programs, including those that support Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry (CSAF). 

In FY2022, EQIP and CSP will provide targeted funding for CSAF practices, and Conservation Incentive Contracts – a new EQIP program – will be available nationwide with an emphasis on CSAF practices. Building on these efforts, NRCS will also prioritize climate investments through ACEP, RCPP, and Conservation Innovation Grants. 

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.