SOURCE: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

January 03, 2007 15:26 ET

Farmers May Apply Now for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

HARRISBURG, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 3, 2007 -- USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently taking applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP -- one of the largest programs in the 2002 Farm Bill -- is a voluntary conservation program that provides producers with incentive payments for conservation activities that help limit soil erosion, improve water and air quality, and protect wildlife habitat.

New to EQIP this year is the Winter Cover Crop Program and Nutrient Management-Use Efficiency Program. The cover crop program offers an annual incentive payment on eligible acres at $20/acre/year, up to 100 acres per year for up to 3 years. Under this program, approximately $1.2 million is available for winter cover crops. Under the nutrient management-use efficiency program, Pennsylvania NRCS will reward producers who implement nutrient management techniques that go beyond the minimum requirements of the nutrient management standard. Incentive payments for the development and implementation of a nutrient management plan will be authorized on eligible acres for up to 3 years.

Producers engaged in livestock or agricultural production are eligible for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, pasture, private non-industrial forest land, and other farm or ranch lands. NRCS works with the participant to develop a conservation plan that identifies problems, land use objectives, and planned practices. This plan becomes the basis of the cost-share agreement between NRCS and the participant. NRCS provides cost-share payments to landowners under these agreements that can be up to 10 years in duration. Persons interested in entering into a cost-share agreement for EQIP assistance should apply by February 2, 2007 to be considered in this second round of funding. Depending on the requests received, and the available funding, this may be the last funding opportunity in 2007.

For more information about the program, visit www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov, or contact your local USDA Service Center.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Ed Sanders
    717-237-2201