Tuesday, March 12, 2019

USDA-2019 Illinois EQIP Application Deadlines Set

  Champaign, IL March 7, 2019 – Look to the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for conservation assistance on agricultural and forestland. Ivan Dozier, Illinois NRCS State Conservationist, explains, “NRCS has a long history of conservation planning with agricultural producers and forestry managers. We have the technical knowledge to develop a conservation plan for your resource concerns and NRCS has conservation programs to help you implement that plan.”

The primary financial assistance program is the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural and forestland producers. To participate, producers can apply for EQIP throughout the year; however, Illinois NRCS has established two application deadlines for April 19, 2019, and May 17, 2019. NRCS encourages producers to submit applications by one of the deadlines if they are interested in the program.

Hundreds of Illinois producers have successfully used EQIP to address natural resource issues on their farm. Some EQIP activities include installing structures to address gully erosion, improving pastureland diversity using interseeding techniques, and improving soil health by increasing organic matter with cover crops. A special Illinois funding pool also targets monarch butterflies by creating or improving monarch habitat with stands of milkweed and nectar plants.

These conservation practices can be completed through NRCS EQIP funding pools, such as grazing land operations, confined livestock operations, organic, monarch butterfly, and wildlife habitat, just to name a few. In addition to conservation practices, EQIP funds plan development, such as Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs), Grazing Plans, Drainage Water Management Plans, and more.

Producers interested in EQIP should submit a signed application (NRCS-CPA-1200 form) to the local NRCS field office. Applications submitted by April 19, 2019, and May 17, 2019, will be evaluated by NRCS staff for the funding period submitted. 

Applicants must meet program eligibility requirements to participate in EQIP. Local NRCS field office staff will work with applicants to determine eligibility and answer ranking questions. If an application is ranked high enough to be funded, NRCS staff will work with each applicant to develop a contract.

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available for agricultural producers and forestry producers. Through EQIP, NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices. For more information on EQIP, contact your local NRCS field office or visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/il/programs/financial/eqip/

United States Department of Agriculture  •  Natural Resources Conservation Service  •  2118 W. Park Court   Champaign, IL 61821  •  Phone: (217) 353-6600

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