Iowa farmers interested in signing up to implement conservation practices on their farms have until May 7 to apply for USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications at USDA Service Centers statewide.
Through EQIP, the NRCS provides conservation planning and financial assistance to implement conservation practices such as no-till, cover crops, terraces, grassed waterways, nutrient management, manure management facilities, and pasture management.
This signup is the second for EQIP in Iowa during Fiscal Year 2021. NRCS held a December 2020 signup for Iowa agricultural producers. “We are seeking additional applications for many of our conservation initiatives and targeted conservation efforts,” said Jeff Matthias, Acting EQIP Coordinator for Iowa NRCS.
The May 7 signup cutoff includes all potential EQIP applications. Specific targets include livestock-related applications such as pasture improvements, along with targeted conservation efforts such as the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI), Prairie Pothole Water Quality Initiative, Organic Initiative, and Wildlife Habitats Initiative including pollinator plantings and forestry.
In addition, Iowa NRCS is seeking applications for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP-EQIP) Fox River Water Quality Project in Appanoose, Davis, and Van Buren Counties in southeast Iowa.
Interested applicants should contact their local NRCS office. Due to the pandemic, USDA offices are currently open to visitors by appointment only. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead. USDA Service Center staff continues to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools.
More information related to USDA’s COVID response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.