LYONS, NEBRASKA – Nebraska farmers and ranchers interested in popular conservation programs have until Nov. 17 to submit their initial paperwork.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provide financial and technical assistance to producers who are interested in implementing conservation practices while maintaining agricultural production. In 2022, 1,167 CSP and EQIP contracts advanced conservation across more than one million acres of Nebraska.
“This year, both programs will receive increased funding from the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Kalee Olson, policy associate for the Center for Rural Affairs. "This is great news for producers, as more contracts will be offered than in past years.”
Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), both programs are designed to conserve natural resources, protect water quality, and improve soil health. However, CSP and EQIP differ in ways that are important to consider.
CSP contracts last five years and ask producers to implement multiple practices across their operations. Applicants must demonstrate they are currently engaged in conservation and be willing to implement additional practices.
EQIP contracts are typically one to three years, and are designed to address a particular resource concern with a single practice or project, such as reducing erosion through the use of cover crops. The program also offers assistance for structural practices, such as fencing for rotational grazing.
“The voluntary design of CSP and EQIP allows producers to select practices that meet the unique needs of their operations, whether they are in crop production or manage livestock,” Olson said.
Producers interested in applying for either program should contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible. A list of local offices can be found at nrcs.usda.gov/contact/find-a-