NRCS Announces Sign-Up for Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Apply before October 7 for assistance in fiscal year 2012.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering financial and technical assistance to Delaware producers to implement conservation practices on their farming operations. Producers are encouraged to apply for the Environment Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by October 7 for assistance in the upcoming year.

EQIP is a voluntary, financial assistance program that helps fund on-farm conservation practices. Practices include those aimed at managing nutrient run-off and/or animal waste; improving irrigation efficiency; improving the health of native plant communities; and reducing soil loss. In fiscal year 2011, NRCS awarded Delaware producers $4.9 million through 137 EQIP contracts.

Delaware farmers transitioning to organic production or already certified as an organic producer may also qualify for the organic initiative under EQIP. Organic producers can receive up to $20,000 per year or $80,000 over six years through this program.

“EQIP is adaptable to meet the various needs of our landowners and address their natural resource challenges, which may change over time,” said Russell Morgan, Delaware NRCS State Conservationist. “By implementing these extra conservation measures, farmers are helping to sustain the productive agricultural lands and natural resources that we all depend on.”

Applications for EQIP are accepted year-round as it is a continuous sign-up. Applications received before October 7 will be considered first for funding; applications received after this date will be considered for future funding periods.

EQIP provides payments for certain conservation practices and activities. Certain historically underserved producers (limited resource farmers, beginning farmers, and socially disadvantaged producers) may be eligible for larger payments.

To find out more about EQIP or other conservation related topics in Delaware, please contact Tim Garrahan, 302-678-4260 or Dastina Johnson, 302-678-4179 or visit the Delaware NRCS website at http://www.de.nrcs.usda.gov

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