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News Release

Environmental Quality Incentives Program – Conservation Incentive Contracts Sign-Up Announced

SALINA, KANSAS, January 14, 2022  – The 2018 Farm Bill introduced the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Conservation Incentive Contracts (CIC) to expand resource benefits for producers to implement, adopt, manage, and maintain incentive practices that effectively address soil health resource concerns within the State of Kansas.  Across the Nation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has led the soil health movement by connecting all fundamental NRCS resource concerns that address farm production.  Ensuring healthy soils’ optimal functioning secures national food production, reduces the level to which disasters and weather extremes impact agriculture, and improves our society’s overall well-being. 

EQIP-CIC can be a stepping stone for producers between the classic EQIP program and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts, without the requirement of enrolling the entire farming operation.  The program combines eligible management practices with needed supporting practices across Kansas, as determined by State Conservationist, Karen A. Woodrich. 

These practices include nutrient management, conservation crop rotation, cover crop, and residue and tillage management.  EQIP-CIC offers annual incentive payments to implement these practices, as well as conservation evaluation and monitoring activities to help manage, maintain, and improve priority natural resource concerns within Kansas and build on existing conservation efforts.

Nutrient Management practice

Nutrient management: Managing the amount, source, placement, and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments, which reduces the potential for nutrients to go unused and washing or infiltrating water supplies.

How it helps? Improves crop production, reduces input costs, protects water quality, properly utilizes manure, biosolids, and other organic by-products as plant nutrient sources, and improves soil conditions.

Conservation Crop Rotation Practice

Conservation Crop rotation: Growing different crops on the same piece of land year after year in a planned recurring sequence. This could involve a rotation to a small grain or a grass legume meadow.

How it helps? Reduces soil erosion, rotating with alfalfa and other legumes reduces fertilizer needs, reduces pesticide costs, adds biological diversity to the soil, and improves water quality.

Cover Crops practice

Cover crops: Crops, including grasses, legumes and forbs, for seasonal cover and other conservation benefits to the soil.  They are planted prior to grain crop harvest or immediately after harvest.

How it helps? Reduces soil erosion, improves soil biology, improves water infiltration traps, sequesters nutrients, reduces weed competition, provides livestock grazing, and increases soil organic matter.

Residue and Tillage Management practice

Residue and tillage management: Performing no full-width tillage, regardless of the depth or timing of tillage operation.  Long-term no till is needed to attain the full benefit.  Most experts consider true no-till to be at least five years without tilling the soil.

How it helps? Reduces soil erosion, protects water quality, increases water infiltration & plant-available moisture, adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes, reduces soil compaction, and fewer inputs saves money.

Contact your local USDA Service Center for additional information and to sign up for the current round of EQIP-CIC funding.  Applications for the fiscal year 2022 contracts will be accepted until February 25, 2022. 

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing.  All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business are required to call their local Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at Farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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