NEVADA, IOWA – Iowa farmers have until April 8 to apply for conservation funding and planning assistance from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), EQIP provides planning and financial assistance to farmers for new conservation efforts on working lands allowing farmers to address specific natural resource concerns while maintaining their agricultural production.
“EQIP allows farmers to implement new conservation efforts on their farms while keeping their fields productive,” said Kelsey Willardson, policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs. “There are many opportunities for Iowa farmers to address common resources concerns.”
To address the most pressing conservation issues within the state, EQIP has a set of priorities. These include pasture improvement, wildlife habitat-improvement, wetlands conservation, and groundwater or surface water protection. There are many practices that farmers can implement to address these priorities, such as prescribed grazing, windbreaks, conservation cover, field borders, and grassed waterways.
“The incentives EQIP provides helps farmers start new conservation efforts they might not have tried otherwise,” Willardson continued. “Since EQIP focuses on state-specific issues, farmers can quickly experience the benefits of their work.”
In 2021, EQIP advanced resource management and conservation efforts by supporting 1,466 program contracts in Iowa.
To apply before the deadline, farmers are encouraged to reach out to their NRCS office. Local offices can be found at offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/
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