USDA announces 2020 EQIP funding deadline

Staff Report

POMEROY — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced Friday, March 20, 2020, as the deadline to submit applications for Ohio’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Local farmers, ranchers, and woodland owners have until March 20 to submit applications for Ohio’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

“EQIP is a voluntary conservation program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation Service which helps producers make conservation work for them,” said Carrie Crislip, NRCS district conservationist for Meigs and Jackson counties. “Together, NRCS and producers invest in solutions that conserve natural resources for the future while also improving agricultural operations.”

Over the past five years, 61 local producers have participated in the program which has contributed more than $418,000 to the local economy, Crislip explained. Projects have included fencing, forest stand improvement, high tunnels, watering facilities and pipeline, pasture improvements, heavy use pads, access roads, and honeybee/pollinator plantings among others.

Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices. Using these practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations. Through EQIP, you can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with you.

Financial assistance is now available in a variety of agricultural categories such as cropland, forestry, pasture operations, and organic. Several special projects are also available which address water quality, forestry management, improving pollinator populations and wildlife habitat, pasture improvements and many more. All available agricultural categories are listed on the Ohio NRCS website under “EQIP Application Deadlines.”

To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farmers or farm or forest landowners and must meet eligibility criteria. Applications signed and submitted to NRCS by the March 20 deadline will be evaluated for fiscal year 2020 funding. For more information contact the Pomeroy USDA-NRCS at 740-992-4282.

To apply or to learn more about EQIP or other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit “Get Started with NRCS” online, or visit the USDA Service Center (NRCS/Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District) at 113 E. Memorial Drive, Suite D, Pomeroy, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Staff Report