The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service offers voluntary Farm Bill conservation programs that benefit agricultural producers and the environment.
Some of the conservation practices offered through EQIP include cover crops which are a vital part of soil health. Tennessee is focused on being a leader in soil health in the nation. NRCS and the Gibson County SCD want Gibson County to help that cause. Other beneficial erosion control practices utilized in Gibson County are water and sediment control basins, underground outlets, grade stabilization structures, and grassed waterways.
Eligible program participants receive financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices, or activities like conservation planning, that address natural resource concerns on their land. Payments are made to participants after conservation practices and activities identified in an EQIP plan of operations are implemented. Contracts can last up to ten years in duration.
Agricultural producers and owners of non-industrial private forestland and Tribes are eligible to apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farm or ranch lands.
Socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans are eligible for an increased payment rate and may receive advance payment of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.
How to apply
Visit your local USDA Service Center to apply or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.
NRCS will help eligible producers develop an EQIP plan of operations, which will become the basis of the EQIP contract.
EQIP applications will be ranked based on a number of factors, including the environmental benefits and cost effectiveness of the proposal.
Find your local USDA Service Center in Tennessee
What’s New in EQIP
- The former Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program was folded into EQIP.
- Advance payment opportunities now exist for veteran agricultural
- Advance payments for socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans were raised from 30 percent to 50 percent.
- Payment limitations are set at $450,000 with no ability to waive
Contact: Matthew Denton @ 731-855-0023 x3
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