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14 Monroe Co EQIP Executive Summary

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Monroe County, Alabama, will hold a signup for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2014 Fiscal Year. Signup is open and applications are taken on a continuous basis. This program is designed to provide technical and financial assistance to correct or improve resource concerns or problems on cropland, pastureland, woodland, or hayland.

The adoption of precision agriculture for pest management and the use of seasonal high tunnel systems for crops will also be considered among the local resource concerns.  The treatments of cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern, kudzu, and Chinese tallow tree will be considered as eligible practices among the forestry health and wildlife resource concern.

Applications are taken at:

Monroe County USDA Service Center
334 Agriculture Drive Suite 103
Monroeville, Alabama 36460
Hours:  Between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone:  251-743-2587, Extension 3
Fax:  251-575-4057
Contact:  District Conservationist

The final date for accepting applications to meet the first batching period for ranking and prioritizing applications will be October 18, 2013. Additional batching periods will be held as needed to obligate available funding. Applicants must ensure that they meet USDA program eligibility requirements through the Farm Service Agency by the close of the ranking period.

All applications will be ranked and approvals based on an environmental ranking worksheet that has been adjusted to meet local resource concerns. Applications with the highest point totals generated from this worksheet will be ranked higher in consideration to receive financial assistance than those applications with lower points within each resource concern. As funds are allocated to each resource concern, the top applicant within each concern will receive funding first in the order of priority listed below before additional applicants within each resource concern are considered.  The remaining funding will be allocated among the resource concerns to ensure that the most county level funding is exhausted and the least is turned back to the state level.  In the event of a tie in points, these applications will be funded in the order of 1) treated acres with the most highly erodible land (HEL) and second tie breaker, 2) contracted least cost.

Local resource concerns in priority order are:

  1. Grazing Lands
  2. Erosion/Soil Quality
  3. Forest Health and Wildlife
  4. Irrigation Water Management

Applications not funded during FY 2014 may be deferred per the applicant’s request to the following year’s program sign-up; however, they may be subject to program guideline modifications prior to the following sign-up’s first batching period.

Limitations:  $10,000 for tree planting – this includes all practices associated with planting

The Alabama NRCS state payment rates and list of practices and restrictions will be used as the eligible EQIP payment rates and practices for Monroe County.

Written leases must be provided for the length of the contract where applicants installing practices are not the current landowner(s). Structural practices installed must have prior written approval of landowner(s).

Limited Resource Farmers, New and Beginning Farmers, and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers may be eligible to receive a higher payment rate.

Additional information is available on the National NRCS EQIP website