Skip Navigation

News Release

New Hampshire USDA NRCS Announces the 2020 EQIP and AMA Ranking-Batching Dates

Contact:
Jeremy J. Fowler, Public Affairs Specialist
(603) 868-9931


DOVER, N.H. March 9, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Hampshire has established the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program ranking-batching dates.

    The application batching dates will be May 1, June 5, and July 10, 2020.

    Landowners interested in protecting, conserving, or restoring the natural resources on their property through technical or financial assistance should contact their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field office to begin the conservation planning process.  Applicants for these programs should have an NRCS Conservation Plan developed.  These plans are completed by NRCS certified conservation planners working directly with the landowner at no cost and help determine which programs best suit the conservation needs of the property.  

    Applications for the EQIP and AMA programs may be submitted at any time year-round, but only eligible applications that are ranked by 4:30 pm on the above-listed closing dates will be considered for that round of funding.

    The EQIP is NRCS’ flagship financial assistance program for working lands, helping producers make improvements to benefit agriculture and conservation. It offers technical help for planning and designing conservation practices that protect water and air, improve soil health, enable better care for farm animals, manage animal waste, and assist in sustaining the nation’s agricultural lands.  This program also offers financial assistance to make these practices more affordable once an application is determined to be eligible for funding. 

    The New Hampshire AMA program provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers for crop season extension through the installation of seasonal high tunnels and supporting practices, and to minimize impact due to drought by addressing water quantity and water quality needs with irrigation practices on cropland.  New Hampshire is one of 16 states in which the AMA is available due to the historically low participation in the Federal Crop Insurance Program.

    Some frequently asked questions about applying for, and competing in these programs is outlined below. More information can be found on our website here.

 



Who can participate?

Private landowners and operators engaged in forestry, wildlife management, crop, or livestock production on qualifying land may be eligible to participate in these NRCS programs; participation is voluntary.  Qualifying land includes cropland, pastureland, hayland, forestland, or other lands on which crops or livestock are produced.


How do you get started?

Contact 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 possible alternatives.  Your goals and objectives will be included in your conservation plan, along with a list of recommended conservation practices that will benefit your property.


How do you apply for EQIP or AMA? 

Once you have a conservation plan, you may apply for funding to help implement your recommended practices.  Your local office will help you understand the program eligibility process and required forms.  You must submit all completed forms, finalize your practice decisions, and meet all other planning requirements for your application to be considered eligible to rank for the next batching date.


What if my application is not selected for funding?

Should your application not be selected for funding, your application will automatically be deferred to the next batching date.  Once fiscal year funding has been exhausted, a deferral letter will be sent with notification that your application is being deferred to the next year.


When should I start this process?  

The planning process and steps needed to make an application eligible for a given batching period are comprehensive and can take several months, to a year to complete - 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 this competitive nature, we recommend all required paperwork and decisions be finalized as soon as possible to maximize your application being selected for funding.


How are applications ranked?

Applications will be ranked based on the vulnerability of the planned area, the local resource concerns being addressed, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide, and the cost efficiency of the planned programs.  Eligible applications demonstrating the highest environmental benefit in each batching period will be selected for funding until New Hampshire program funds have been exhausted. 


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

Once your contract is funded, you will be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice(s), and you will be given 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 program 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? 

The NRCS programs offer 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.  Payments are made to participants once conservation practices are completed according to NRCS requirements and certified by NRCS staff. Through EQIP, historically underserved producers are also eligible for advanced payments to help with up-front material or service costs associated with some conservation practices.


Where do I find more information?

You can contact your local field office for more information. General program information is available on the NRCS New Hampshire website at www.nh.nrcs.usda.gov.

 

# # #

 

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).