DES MOINES, IA, Nov. 16, 2020 — Iowa farmers interested in treating natural resource concerns on their land have until Dec. 18 to be considered for priority funding through USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Fiscal Year 2021.
Farmers should contact their local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to apply. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NRCS offices are taking in-person visitors by appointment only, so please call ahead.
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 2020, NRCS obligated about $30 million in EQIP financial assistance to Iowa farmers.
The Dec. 18 application signup cutoff includes EQIP initiatives, such as the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), Mississippi River Basin Health Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), Prairie Pothole Water Quality and Wildlife Program, Organic Initiative, High Tunnel Initiative, and On-Farm Energy Initiative.