2009 EQIP applications due May 22Minnesota landowners are encouraged to submit 2009 applications to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) for participation in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by May 22.
Minnesota landowners are encouraged to submit 2009 applications to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) for participation in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by May 22.
EQIP is offered through a continuous signup, but NRCS periodically makes funding selections as program dollars allow.
“So far, Minnesota NRCS received $21.5 million to begin funding approved EQIP contracts.” said William Hunt, NRCS state conservationist. “I encourage landowners to get applications in as soon as possible before the first cut-off date of May 22, 2009.”
EQIP was originally established under the 1996 Farm Bill and is reauthorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. It provides technical and financial assistance to landowners to voluntarily address soil, water and related natural resource concerns on private lands.
Congress included new provisions in the 2008 Farm Bill, setting aside 5 percent of EQIP financial assistance dollars to assist beginning farmers and another 5 percent to assist socially disadvantaged farmers.
A new change with this year’s signup is the payment rate paid for enduring conservation practices has increased from 50 to 75 percent of the average cost of the practice.
This increase in payment rate for agricultural producers comes at a time when producers are facing challenging economic conditions.
For more information about EQIP, visit your local USDA Service Center or visit the website http://