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News Release

USDA Announces Early Sign-up for National Initiatives to Help Mississippi Ag Producers

Laura T. Anderson, Acting Public Affairs Specialist

JACKSON, Miss., Sept. 28, 2018 -   United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) /Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has financial assistance available to qualified Mississippi landowners wanting to address specific resources concerns in the state.  This early start option is a national charge to all states to start taking Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) applications this fall. Applications must be received by October 19, 2018.

This early start option will be addressing ONLY the following national initiatives:

  1. National On-Farm Energy Initiative (NOFEI)
  2. Conservation Activity Plans (CAPS) – 102, 104, 106, 118, 128, 130, 132, 146
  3. Seasonal High Tunnel

Below is a brief description of each national initiative:

National On-Farm Energy Initiative (NOFEI)

This ranking pool will be used to address completed AgEMP CAPS to implement practices that address inefficient use of energy.

Approved Land Types – The following land types are eligible for this initiative: crop, pasture, range, and farmstead.

Approved Natural Resources Concerns: The major resource concerns addressed will be Inefficient Energy Use – Equipment and Facilities and Inefficient Energy Use – Farming/Ranching Practices.

Conservation Activity Plans

Practice Code  Practice Name

102               Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan

104               Nutrient Management Plan

106               Forest Management Plan

118               Irrigation Water Management Plan

128               Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP)

130               Drainage Water Management Plan

132               Soil Resources Planning

146               Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Plan

* Basically all the Conservation Activity Plan (CAP)s will allow the development of a systematic plan that details the best approach to restore the land resources. These plans will also address serious resource concerns such as declining native wildlife species, plants, and critical habitat, soil health, and other key resource concerns.

Seasonal High Tunnel                                                                                                                                      Through the National Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative (NSHTI), NRCS will assist producers to extend the growing season for high-value crops in an environmentally safe manner. The initiative has the potential to assist producers to address resource concerns by improving plant quality, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport.

Only applications that are received by October 19, 2018, will be considered for financial assistance.

To qualify for EQIP, an applicant must be an individual, entity or joint operation that meets eligibility criteria. Applications for all NRCS financial-assistance programs are accepted on a continuous sign-up process; however specific sign-up deadlines are established to rank, contract and fund qualified tracts of land. Applications for these national initiatives received by October 19, 2018, will be considered for funding in the early EQIP sign-up.

Technical and financial assistance is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.  Interested landowners are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center.