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News Release

Ranking batching dates announced for EQIP. Next ranking date is January 19, 2018.

PRESS RELEASE

USDA NRCS NH Contact:
Betty Anderson,
Public Affairs Specialist
603-868-9931 x136
betty.anderson@nh.usda.gov 
www.nh.nrcs.usda.gov    

Article announces ranking batching dates for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), 
explains the program and offers next steps for interested reader.

 

Dover, New Hampshire, November 30, 2017 — Agriculture or forest landowners in New Hampshire:

If you are interested in protecting, conserving, or restoring the natural resources on your property through technical or financial assistance, contact your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field office to begin the conservation planning process.

Once an NRCS Conservation Plan is developed and you are interested in competing for financial assistance to implement practices from your Conservation Plan, work with NRCS to determine which program best suits your conservation needs. Applications for the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and initiatives may be submitted at any time year-round; however, the next ranking batching date is January 19, 2018. All applications determined to be eligible by 4:30 p.m. on January 19, 2018 will be considered in this funding cycle.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) EQIP offers technical help for planning and designing conservation practices that protect our water and air, improve soil health, enable us to better care for farm animals, manage animal waste, and sustain our agricultural land. EQIP also offers financial assistance to make these practices more affordable once an application is determined eligible for funding.

Who can participate?

Private landowners and operators who are engaged in forestry, wildlife management, crop, or livestock production on eligible land may be eligible to participate in EQIP. Participation is voluntary. Eligible land includes cropland, pasture, hayland, forestland or other lands on which crops or livestock are produced. How do you get started? Call your local NRCS field office to discuss your resource needs and work with staff to develop a conservation plan. A conservation planner will visit your property and identify resource concerns, discuss your goals, inventory resources, and evaluate alternatives. Your goals and objectives, with a list of recommended conservation practices for your farm, will be included in your conservation plan.

How do you apply? 

Once you have a conservation plan and would like to apply for EQIP funds to help implement your list of recommended conservation practices, we will help you understand the extensive program eligibility process. NRCS will evaluate your completed landowner eligibility forms and needed practices. After you have finalized practice decisions and agree to move forward, we’ll work with you on the application. EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis, but they are considered for funding during specific ranking periods. Once all other planning requirements needed for an application to be considered for funding have been completed, your application can be considered for the next ranking period. All upcoming ranking batching dates are:  

January 19, 2018

February 16, 2018

March 16, 2018

April 20, 2018

May 18, 2018

If you aren’t selected for funding in a given batching period, your application will be automatically deferred to the next batching date until EQIP funds are exhausted. If all NH EQIP funds have been exhausted by the last announced batching period, a deferral letter will be sent with notification that your application is being deferred to the next fiscal year.  Some paperwork requires annual updating for the new fiscal year.  The NRCS field office servicing your application will notify you of any needed actions for the application to be considered eligible.

The planning process and steps needed to make an application eligible for a given batching period are comprehensive and can take from several months to a year, depending on the practices included in the application. The application process is competitive and there is no guarantee that your application will be eligible and/or selected for funding by the next batching date.  Due to the competitive nature of the program, we recommend that all required paperwork and decisions be finalized as soon as possible in order to maximize chances of your application being selected for funding.

How are applications ranked? 

Applications will be ranked according to local resource concerns and the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide. Eligible applications demonstrating the highest environmental benefit in each batching period will be selected for funding until NH EQIP funds have been exhausted. 

What is the process for implementing the contract requirements and for getting paid? 

Once you have been selected and sign the contract, you will be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice(s) and you will have a specified time to implement them. The contract will be carried out, in part, according to the conservation plan that you developed. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you will receive the predetermined payment rate for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications. All practices established with EQIP funding must be maintained for the life span of the practice.  

What are payment rates and is there a limit on how much you can get paid? 

EQIP offers payment rates for installed practices to eligible producers based on allowable average costs for the region. Historically underserved producers may qualify for a higher practice payment rate. The total limitation on EQIP payments is $450,000 per individual or entity member for the period from 2/7/2014 to 9/30/2018, regardless of the number of farms or contracts. Payments are made to participants once conservation practices are completed according to NRCS requirements and certified by NRCS staff. Contact your local office for more information. General program information is available on the NRCS New Hampshire website at www.nh.nrcs.usda.gov

 

New Hampshire NRCS Field Service Centers:

Concord Field Service Center
Serving Merrimack and Belknap Counties
10 Ferry St., Suite 211 Concord, NH 03301
Merrimack County: 603-223-6023
Heather Foley, District Conservationist
603-223-6028
heather.foley@nh.usda.gov
Belknap County:
Bill Hoey, Soil Conservationist
603-223-6022
william.hoey@nh.usda.gov

Conway Field Service Center
Serving Carroll and Belknap Counties
73 Main St.
Conway, NH 03818
Nels Liljedahl, District Conservationist
603-447-2771
nels.liljedahl@nh.usda.gov

Epping Field Service Center
Serving Rockingham and
Strafford Counties
629 Calef Highway, Suite 203
Epping, NH 03042
Keri Neal, District Conservationist
603-679-1587
keri.neal@nh.usda.gov

Lancaster Field Service Center
Serving Coos County
4 Mayberry Lane
Lancaster, NH 03584
Kelly Eggleston, District Conservationist
603-788-4651
kelly.eggleston@nh.usda.gov

Milford Field Service Center
Serving Hillsborough County
#468, Rte. 13 South
Milford, NH 03055
Heather Foley, District Conservationist
603-732-9196
heather.foley@nh.usda.gov

Orford Field Service Center
Serving Grafton County
19 Archertown Rd., Suite 1
Orford, NH 03777
Steve Pytlik, Acting District Conservationist
603-353-4651 steven.pytlik@nh.usda.gov
After 1/1/18: Kelly Eggleston, Acting District Conservationist 603-353-4651 kelly.eggleston@nh.usda.gov

Walpole Field Service Center
Serving Cheshire and Sullivan Counties
11 Industrial Park Dr.
Walpole, NH 03608
Steve Pytlik, District Conservationist
603-756-2988
steven.pytlik@nh.usda.gov

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