Sign up continues for Grundy County agricultural producers to receive financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary program for farmers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land.
EQIP applications are accepted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), located at the USDA Service Center. Through the 2008 Farm Bill, NRCS provides financial incentives to producers to promote agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals, optimize environmental benefits, and help farmers meet environmental regulations.
Conservation plans must be developed for the entire area included in an EQIP contract. NRCS provides technical assistance and financial payments to producers who apply practices based on conservation plans. EQIP practices include, but are not limited to: grassed waterways, waste storage facilities, grade stabilization structures, strip-till/no-till and terraces.
Grundy County Resource Conservationist Aaron Anderson says EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Cutoff dates to rank applications are set and advertised periodically as funds become available. Anderson says early applications allow for more thorough conservation planning. "If you apply early, a conservation plan can be developed to identify all natural resource concerns and treatment options," he says. "Early application also ensures that all eligibility issues are in order."
For more information or to apply for an EQIP contract, visit the Grundy Center USDA Service Center, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4 p.m., or call 319-824-3634.