EQIP Funds: Nebraska Landowners Encouraged To Sign Up

EQIP Funds: Nebraska Landowners Encouraged To Sign Up

Deadline to apply is Dec. 21; ranking of applications on hand will begin then. Contact local NRCS office.

Those interested in applying for conservation measures are encouraged to sign up for program dollars by Dec. 21.

With harvest wrapping up across the state,  the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service reminds farmers and ranchers that now is the time to sign up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. 

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available to private landowners and operators, says Craig Derickson, NRCS state conservationist in Nebraska. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers may receive financial and technical help with conservation practices on agricultural land. 

According to Derickson, there are several options available to producers under the program.

Nebraska Landowners Encouraged To Sign Up For EQIP Funds

"EQIP is one our most versatile programs," he says. "It offers cost-share and technical assistance to apply conservation measures on cropland, rangeland as well as for animal feeding operations and establishing or enhancing wildlife habitat. There are special initiatives to help conserve water in the Ogallala Aquifer, help producers conserve energy on the farm or ranch, and provide assistance to convert to organic agriculture."  NRCS staff can help landowners and operators sort out their EQIP options, Derickson says.

EQIP has become the most widely applied conservation program in Nebraska with more than 7.7 million acres under contract. The goal of EQIP is to provide a financial incentive to encourage landowners to protect their natural resources, resulting in cleaner air, water and more wildlife habitat.

"EQIP provides a good option for working lands," Derickson says. "These contracts protect natural resources on lands still in production and generating income."

Individuals interested in entering into an EQIP agreement may file an application at any time, but the ranking of applications on hand to receive funding will begin Dec. 21, 2012. 

Producers are encouraged to sign up soon since all funding for EQIP in Nebraska could potentially be obligated by March 1, 2013. The first step is to visit your local NRCS field office and complete an application.

For more information about EQIP and the other available conservation programs, visit your local NRCS field office or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.

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