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News Release

April 6 EQIP Application Deadline in Vermont

 

Two Vermont Watersheds Eligible for Additional Financial Assistance to help protect drinking water sources

March 23, 2020--Do you own or manage farmland or forest land in Vermont? Could you use some technical and financial help in managing it more effectively? The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) encourages you to sign up for conservation assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications may be submitted at any time during the year; however, the next ranking batching date is April 6, 2020.

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and forest land owners to address natural resource concerns through an array of conservation practices. Assistance is available to support private land owners and managers in addressing farm, field, forest, wildlife, water, and/or plant management issues.

Interested applicants who are already USDA customers can submit applications online via Conservation Client Gateway.  New customers can contact their local USDA Service center and conduct business via phone and mail.

Vermont NRCS State Conservationist Vicky Drew also announced that farmers in two Vermont watersheds are eligible for up to 90 percent payment assistance for selected conservation practices. The 2018 Farm Bill amended the Food Security Act of 1985 to add a provision providing for the protection of source water through targeted conservation practices in identified watersheds. “In Vermont, NRCS worked in collaboration with drinking water partners and the members of the USDA State Technical Committee to identify two priority areas for source water protection,” explained Drew. The two watersheds eligible for specialized EQIP assistance are the Headwaters Passumpsic River watershed in the northeastern part of the state and the Vernon Dam watershed in the southern part of the state, both in the Connecticut River Watershed.

Through this special initiative, NRCS can provide increased incentives for practices that relate to water quality and quantity and protect drinking water sources while also benefitting producers. Eligible producers in the two identified Vermont watersheds may receive up to a 90% payment rate to install key conservation practices such as:

  • Conservation Crop Rotation

  • Cover Crops

  • Ground Water Testing

  • Riparian Forest Buffer

  • Filter Strip

  • Heavy Use Area Protection

  • Nutrient Management

  • Integrated Pest Management

  • Agrichemical Handling Facility

  • Well Decommissioning

Interested applicants should contact their local USDA Service Center which can be located at https://www.farmers.gov/connect. Learn more about EQIP.