Farmers and Farm & Forest Owners Can Conserve Natural Resources with EQIP Cost-Share
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program which helps producers make conservation work for them. Applications are due by January 15, 2021.
NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices. Using these practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations.
Through EQIP, you can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with you. Together, NRCS and producers invest in solutions that conserve natural resources for the future while also improving agricultural operations.
Any eligible agricultural producer can submit an EQIP application at any time. NRCS announces “cut-off” or application submission deadline dates to evaluate, rank, and approve applications received by the announced date. EQIP contains provisions to distribute percentages of program funds by categories including type of agricultural land use, type of producer, natural resource concern, conservation practice and special initiatives.
The State Conservationist, in consultation with the State Technical Committee and Local Work Groups, has developed the 2021 ranking criteria to prioritize and subsequently fund applications addressing priority natural resource concerns in Ohio. To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.
Applications signed and submitted to NRCS by the January 15, 2021 deadline will be evaluated for fiscal year 2021 funding.
To discuss eligibility and/or apply for EQIP, contact your local service center. If you live in Fairfield County or Hocking County, contact District Conservationist, Dave Libben at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-415-3921; or Soil Conservationist, Brice Shaw at email@example.com or 740-415-3907.
Eligible EQIP applicants include agricultural producers, owners of non-industrial private forestland, and Tribes that:
Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farm or ranch lands. Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply.
Applicants must complete and file all application and eligibility paperwork as required. Applicants approved for funding must sign an EQIP contract and implement the planned conservation practices to NRCS standards and specifications as scheduled.
Starting a conservation practice in an EQIP contract before final written contract approval renders that practice ineligible for EQIP assistance unless NRCS granted a written waiver.
Applications may be considered for funding in a variety of agricultural categories such as cropland, pasture operations, and organic. Several special projects are also available which address water quality, forestry management, improving pollinator populations and wildlife habitat, pasture improvements and many more. See the EQIP Category Table for full details.