Thursday 3rd December 2020

The Missouri USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced November 20, 2020 as the cut-off date to apply for Fiscal Year 2021 funds through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP).

A news release says EQIP allows farmers, ranchers, forestland managers and landowners an opportunity to conserve natural resources by making available financial assistance to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals, and related resources.

Along with helping row crop farmers increase organic matter and water-holding capacity, funding will be available for farmers and ranchers to incorporate pasture and hay land practices that improve soil health and resiliency to drought. Funding will also be available to address resource concerns through Agroforestry.

NRCS accepts applications for all its programs on a continuous basis, but application must be filed for these programs by November 20, 2020, to be eligible for the next round of funding. Farmers can submit applications at local NRCS offices. NRCS also offers free technical assistance to all Missouri residents.

For more information about NRCS programs and assistance, visit the www.mo.nrcs.usda.gov or contact the NRCS service office serving your county.

The November 20 application deadline also applies to:

Soil Health Cropland Initiative- The Soil Health Cropland Initiative is a state initiative focused on assisting cropland producers address resource concerns associated with soil quality degradation to implement Soil Health Management Systems on their farms.

High Tunnel Initiative- The purpose of the High Tunnel Initiative is to assist producers to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. The practice has the potential to assist producers to address resource concerns by improving plant quality, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport.

Organic Initiative – The EQIP Organic Initiative assists eligible applicants to install conservation practices on agricultural operations related to organic production such as certified organic producers, producers transitioning to organic production, and certification exempt producers according to the USDA-National Organic Program.

On-Farm Energy Initiative- The EQIP On-Farm Energy Initiative assists producers by identifying ways to conserve energy on the farm through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit; and by providing financial and technical assistance to help the producer implement recommendations and conservation practices identified in the audit plan.

National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)- The National Water Quality Initiative is a focused approach to assist landowners in priority watersheds to apply selected conservation practices to reduce the flow of sediment, nutrients and other runoff into impaired waterways.