Secrets of Getting to the Top for EQIP Funding

Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

nrcseprd994613[1]An additional $2.5 million is now available to producers as part of the Climate Change Mitigation Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) project, said Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Farmers and landowners have until June 10 to apply for this additional funding to implement certain conservation practices.

Dr. English has some tips for getting on that short list for funding. He said the money is available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). They prioritize funding applications that address three objectives – improved soil health, nitrogen stewardship and irrigation water management. The ranking process consists of a screening tool and ranking questions.

If all three objectives are included in the application, the application will be given high priority; if only two, the application will be designated medium priority, and if only one is addressed, it will be considered low priority. High priority applications will be considered first.

Here is what NRCS is looking for in the application, said Dr. English:

  • Soil Health – reduced tillage, reduced compaction, cover crops, perennial vegetation. Sufficient progress attained through successful NRCS soil health campaign.
  • Nitrogen Stewardship – reduction of nitrous oxide emissions through the four Rs of nitrogen fertilizer management – the right source, right rate, right timing and right placement.
  • Irrigation Water Management – includes irrigation water management along with supporting conservation practices; also irrigation water management for rice production is included.

Either all or parts of 27 counties in the Delta are eligible for the additional EQIP funding said Dr. English.

Individuals and entities actively engaged in agricultural production are eligible for EQIP. Applications for financial assistance are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year, but the deadline for participation in this additional EQIP funding is June 10. Dr. English reminds producers to visit their local USDA Service Center and check www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted website.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Program offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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