DES MOINES, IA, Feb. 20, 2020 — Iowa farmers interested in treating natural resource concerns on their land have until March 20 to be considered for priority funding through USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Fiscal Year 2020.
Farmers should contact their local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to apply.
Through EQIP, the NRCS provides conservation planning and financial assistance to implement conservation practices such as no-till, cover crops, terraces, grassed waterways, nutrient management, manure management facilities, and pasture management.
EQIP, one of USDA’s most popular conservation programs, is offered through a continuous signup, but NRCS periodically makes application selections as funding allows. In Fiscal Year 2019, NRCS obligated a record $36.6 million in EQIP financial assistance to Iowa farmers.
The March 20 application signup cutoff includes EQIP initiatives, such as the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), Mississippi River Basin Health Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), Organic Initiative, High Tunnel Initiative, and On-Farm Energy Initiative.
Conservation Stewardship Renewals
USDA officials also announced a March 20 application cutoff for Iowa private landowners interested in renewing their expiring 2014-1, 2015-1 or 2016-1 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts. For 2014-1 CSP contract holders, only those who extended their contracts for one year in 2019 will be eligible for renewal.
Through CSP, NRCS helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation.
Participants with existing CSP contracts expiring on May 14, 2020 can renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands.
NRCS will mail contract renewal notification letters to all participants whose contracts expire in 2020, which will contain instructions on how to apply for renewal.
For more information about conservation planning and programs to help treat natural resource issues on your land, visit www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov or your local USDA Service Center.