Farmers and ranchers interested in soil, water and wildlife conservation are encouraged to sign up now for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP is available from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Those interested in applying for fiscal year 2018 program funds are encouraged to sign up before October 20, 2017.
EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available to private landowners and operators. Through EQIP farmers and ranchers may receive financial and technical help to install conservation practices on agricultural land, such as examples pictured below.
According to Craig Derickson, NRCS State Conservationist, there are several options available to producers through EQIP. “EQIP is one of our most versatile programs. It offers cost-share and technical assistance to apply conservation measures on cropland and rangeland, as well as for animal feeding operations and establishing or enhancing wildlife habitat. There are many opportunities available, and NRCS staff can help landowners and operators sort out their EQIP options.”
Individuals interested in entering into an EQIP agreement may apply at any time, but the ranking of applications on hand to receive funding will begin October 20, 2017. The first step is to visit your local NRCS office in Dakota City or Walthill and complete an application.
For more than 75 years, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has helped agricultural producers design and install conservation plans. NRCS Conservationists work with landowners on their farm or ranch to develop a conservation plan based on resource goals. Conservation planning assistance is free and does not require participation in financial programs.
For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and other conservation programs, visit your local NRCS field office or go online at www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.