NEVADA, IOWA – Agricultural producers interested in implementing conservation practices are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). In Iowa, the deadline to submit initial paperwork is Nov. 3.
“Whether farmers are veterans in conservation or trying no-till, cover crops, or other practices for the first time, these programs provide them with an opportunity to take care of Iowa’s agricultural lands,” said Kate Hansen, senior policy associate for the Center for Rural Affairs.
Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), CSP and EQIP provide financial and technical assistance for producers to implement conservation practices while keeping their land in production
CSP is designed to support conservation efforts operation-wide. To be eligible, producers must demonstrate they are currently addressing regional resource concerns with approved conservation practices and a willingness to implement additional practices, called enhancements.
EQIP is designed to help producers address a particular resource concern with a single practice or project. Through EQIP, a number of structural practices, such as terraces, are available as well.
“These programs help farmers invest in practices that align with their conservation goals, both big and small,” Hansen said.
When applying for a contract, producers develop a conservation plan with their local NRCS staff that benefits natural resources, improving water quality and soil health. In 2022, more than 327,000 acres in Iowa were enrolled in CSP and EQIP.
Farmers interested in applying should call their local NRCS office to begin the process. To find your local office, visit nrcs.usda.gov/contact/find-a-