Champaign, IL, September 25, 2018—The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) application deadline of November 2, 2018 for Illinois agricultural and forestry producers. The November deadline is for producers who want to develop a “Conservation Activity Plan,” or CAP and receive financial assistance for creating that customized plan.
Ivan Dozier, Illinois NRCS State Conservationist, explains, “EQIP provides funds to pay for the creation of a CAP that addresses a specific natural resource concern or a particular land use issue. Once the plan is written, the producer can again apply for EQIP to implement the plan and install the different conservation practices and techniques they selected. Producers can use EQIP from start to finish.”
A CAP is developed by NRCS-certified Technical Service Providers (TSPs). The TSP will work with individual producers to inventory their concerns and identify conservation practices to address the issues. EQIP assistance is used to offer the following CAPs in Illinois:
Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan
Nutrient Management Plan
Forest Management Plan
Feed Management Plan
Grazing Management Plan
Prescribed Burning Plan
Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Plan
Integrated Pest Management Plan
Irrigation Water Management Plan
Agricultural Energy Management Plan
Drainage Water Management Plan
Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition
Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management Plan
At this time, only CAPs will be competing for EQIP funding. In the future, NRCS will establish other application opportunities and sign-up deadlines. Even so, producers can apply for EQIP year-round at their local NRCS field offices. Producers interested in EQIP should submit a signed application (NRCS-CPA-1200 form) to the local NRCS field office or submit one electronically through the Conservation Client Gateway. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/cgate/
Applications for CAPS submitted by November 2, 2018 will be evaluated by NRCS staff. Applicants must meet program eligibility requirements to participate in EQIP, which the NRCS field office staff will review with applicants. When an application is funded, local NRCS field office staff will work with each applicant to develop a contract.
EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available for agricultural producers and forestry producers. Through EQIP, NRCS can provide financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices. For information on EQIP, contact the local NRCS field office or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/il/programs/financial/eqip/
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