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EQIP funding available for conservation

Now is a good time to contact a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to discuss your conservation needs and complete an application to receive funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Now is a good time to contact a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to discuss your conservation needs and complete an application to receive funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

EQIP has been the main USDA conservation program for assistance in helping agricultural producers apply new soil and water conservation practices on the land.

The EQIP program provides incentive payments for some practices or helps defray the costs of materials and/or installing structural practices for environmental and conservation improvements to their operation.

The NRCS administers the EQIP program and offers technical assistance if needed. EQIP provides cost share dollars and technical assistance to agricultural producers who work with a conservation professional such as soil conservationists or private technical service providers who are certified with the NRCS.

Several conservation practices are available through the EQIP program. If there is a natural resource concern on the farm there is most likely assistance with a practice through the EQIP program.

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There are 70 different practices that can be signed up with the EQIP program.

Some of the more popular practices that have been signed up include: no-till or mulch tillage, nutrient management, water and sediment control basins, prescribed grazing system, abandoned well sealing, pest management (weeds and insects), organic crop rotation transition, ag waste management systems, low pressure irrigation conversion and closure of ag waste pits, and woody or non-woody invasive species control.

Incentive payments for certain practices are usually offered on a per acre basis with most having payments for up to three years. Other practices have set rates for the components installed.

To find out what practices are available or to view the payment schedule for the EQIP program, go online at: http://www.mn.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/ and select the program year then "Conservation Practice Payment Document."

If the 2010 information is not yet available, you may view the 2009 data to see what practices have been available in the past. The EQIP program is open for applications year round.

Anyone interested in participating should contact their local NRCS office for details. In Douglas County, call (320) 763-3191, extension 3.

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENT
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