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News Release

Agricultural Landowners Encouraged to Apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program by September 2

Contact:
Amber Till, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs


GAINESVILLE, FL, July 28, 2022 – Agricultural producers and landowners in Florida are encouraged to apply to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by September 2, 2022, for the program’s current funding cycle. Through this voluntary conservation program, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can provide agricultural producers and landowners with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices, that address resource concerns. 

“Using EQIP conservation practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations,” said Juan C. Hernandez, NRCS State Conservationist in Florida. “If you have an agricultural resource concern you are ready to address or a management system you want to try, now is the time to apply for EQIP.”

Although applications are accepted throughout the year, the current EQIP funding cycle for Florida NRCS closes on September 2, 2022. Interested producers and landowners should act quickly to submit their application to their local NRCS office. All applications received after that date will be considered for a future funding cycle.

Ranking and funding pools allow EQIP to target funding to specific natural resource concerns, locations or operations, nationally, by state, and locally. Applications for conservation practices and systems that will result in greater environmental benefits for national, state, and/or local natural resource priorities will receive a higher score and priority to receive an offer for a financial assistance contract.

Once an application has been filed, the local NRCS conservation planner will have a one-on-one consultation with the applicant to identify the applicant’s goals and objectives for the land and assess the condition of natural resources. An NRCS conservation planner will present conservation practices or systems to address and enhance these natural resources.

The amount of financial assistance available can vary based on practice priority and applicant status. Each year, NRCS re-evaluates the amount of financial assistance payment rates.

General EQIP Eligibility

  1. Applicant Eligibility
  • Engaged in agricultural production or forestry management or have an interest in the agricultural or forestry operation associated with the land offered for enrollment.
  • Be within the applicable EQIP payment limitations.
  1. Land Eligibility
  • Land on which agricultural commodities, livestock, or forest-related products are produced, and specifically includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, nonindustrial private forestland, other agricultural land such as environmentally sensitive areas, and agricultural land used to produce livestock.
  1. Resource Concern Eligibility
    • At least one natural resource concern must be identified and addressed with a conservation practice or activity.

Application Requirements

Applicants will need to provide records and forms necessary to establish farm records and certifications outlined below.

More on NRCS

NRCS, originally called the Soil Conservation Service, was created in 1935 as a direct response to the Dust Bowl. NRCS helps private landowners improve the health of their operations while protecting natural resources for the future. NRCS has 34 field offices throughout Florida with teams ready to help landowners with conservation programs. Contact your local NRCS field office for more information.

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