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Application Deadlines Approaching for EQIP and CSP

Brian GermanAgri-Business, USDA-NRCS

Application Deadlines

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds producers that the application deadlines for two popular conservation programs are coming up. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is accepting submissions for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Applications are accepted year-round, but those seeking assistance are encouraged to apply for EQIP Priorities by April 3 and April 14 for CSP. NRCS is also specifically setting aside funds for historically underserved producers under each of the programs.

Millions of dollars of support for conservation practices and initiatives are available through EQIP. There are a multitude of options for assistance through the various programs available to producers. The National Air Quality Initiative assists farmers with replacing older on-farm engines with new, more efficient equipment. NRCS and Bureau of Reclamation WaterSmart partner projects are designed to bolster water infrastructure and delivery on farms. The Groundwater Recharge Pilot Program helps producers with on-farm recharge and addresses groundwater depletion.

Historically underserved producers can receive advance payments through EQIP to help with costs associated with materials and services. Other special provisions are also available. Higher EQIP payment rates can also be received by historically underserved producers. Up to 90 percent of the average cost can be covered through the program.

NRCS also has millions of dollars available through CSP Classic. Producers can receive funding for a variety of conservation activities deployed on farming operations. Practices such as cover cropping, installing buffer strips, or implementing ecologically-based pest management approaches are all considered CSP enhancements. CSP practices can also help producers to improve soil health and protect water quality. Other activities covered through the program can help to support pollinators and other beneficial insects within agriculture.

Those interested in either EQIP or CSP are encouraged to contact their local NRCS office before the application deadlines.

About the Author

Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West