The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is asking for input on its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). NRCS will make more than $1 billion available for producers in fiscal 2020. The EQIP program helps producers plan and implement more than 150 different conservation practices on working lands. The interim rule, which includes changes made through the 2018 Farm Bill, is now available on the Federal Register and is set to take effect upon publication.
Changes to EQIP include creating incentive contracts, as well as payments for incentive practices. The updated program will also require NRCS to offer an advance payment option for historically underserved producers. Other changes include altering the payment cap for producers who participate in the Organic Initiative to $140,000 for contracts entered between fiscal 2019 through 2023. Comments on the proposed changes can be submitted through Tuesday, February 18, 2020.
Listen to the report below.