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USDA announces deadline for EQIP applications

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service agency announced the 2021 Environmental Quality Incentives Program application deadline is Nov. 30.

Kansas farmers and private landowners concerned with their natural resources and who are needing help with their conservation planning and finances may contact their local USDA Service Center.

Farmers using EQIP assistance can adopt structural and management practices that help with their natural resource concerns on working agricultural lands, such as soil erosion or water quality.

Other supplemental benefits provided by other practices include improved soil health, wildlife habitat and energy conservation.

Kansas agricultural producers and landowners with interest in the initial batching period for fiscal year 2021 financial assistance through EQIP must apply by Nov. 30 as NRCS accepts conservation program applications on a continuous basis and periodically makes application selections as funding allows.

The application cut-off announcement will apply to all general EQIP, including conservation practices that address resource concerns to improve soil heath, grazing lands and forestlands, water quality, water quantity and livestock feeding operations.

EQIP is potential for transitioning to organic production, developing a rotational grazing system, adding pollinator habitats to a farm, building a high tunnel system for fruit and vegetable production, and saturated buffers to improve water quality.

Also included in the announcement are special initiatives, such as on-farm energy, organic, seasonal high tunnel and monarch butterfly habitat.

Producers are advised to discuss these sign-up options with their local USDA Service Center to see if any of the initiatives or projects are right for them.

“The sooner we can begin the conservation planning conversation with you, the better we can assist in formulating alternatives for your operation,” said USDA state conservationist Karen A. Woodrich. “Understanding your objectives are key.”

Producers can apply at their local USDA Service Center or by submitting a request through www.farmers.gov for conservation planning assistance and completing a Conservation Program Application, labeled Form NRCS-CPA-1200.

“NRCS is here to help Kansas farmers, ranchers, and private landowners make the best use of their land and natural resources,” Woodrich said. “Programs such as EQIP encourage management techniques that help the producer maximize their economic and environmental benefits.”

Contact a local USDA Service Center or visit www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov for more information about EQIP.