Farm bill program deadlines have been set for Indiana’s agricultural producers who want to improve natural resources and address concerns on their land. Jerry Raynor, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist, announced that December 18 will be the application deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and January 8 will be the application deadline for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in Indiana.
EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available for agricultural producers. Through EQIP, NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices that reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, improve soil health, improve water and air quality and create wildlife habitat. Also included in this sign up are several state and national initiatives.
“EQIP helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals,” said Raynor. “Farmers can receive assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on their working agricultural land while helping to increase their yields.”
CSP is an important farm bill conservation program that helps producers who are already practicing good stewardship to take their natural resource management to the next level. The program helps to improve both their agricultural production and provide valuable conservation benefits such as cleaner and more abundant water, as well as healthier soils and better wildlife habitat.
“Farmers and forest landowners who enroll in CSP are going the extra mile to conserve our Indiana resources,” Raynor said. “The actions they are taking on their land are making a more productive and sustainable operation over the long run.”
Producers interested in EQIP or CSP should submit a signed application to the local NRCS field office. Applications submitted by the program deadline will be evaluated for this round of funding. Applicants must meet minimum eligibility requirements for EQIP and CSP. NRCS staff will work with producers to determine eligibility and, assess and rank each application to compete for funding.