Sign Up Now for Farm Conservation Programs

Sign Up Now for Farm Conservation Programs from NRCS (USDA) A reader with extensive experience working for NRCS has pointed out that an application can be filed anytime but selection periods are not all year and limited to when funds are made available. It is always best to go into an NRCS office well ahead of these selection periods to update the farm's conservation plan. a resource concern needs to be identified to qualify for cost sharing assistance through EQIP. CRP is administered by the Farm Service Agency. Many farmers don’t realize that most of the USDA conservation programs are open for sign-up at any time, continuously, not just for a few weeks each year.  Most of the programs offered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are open year-round for applications, according to Pat Leavenworth, NRCS State Conservationist for Wisconsin. “For example, you can make an appointment and sign-up for costsharing through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) at any time throughout the year,” says Leavenworth.  Those applications are held until an annual ranking date is announced, then all applications that NRCS has received to date will be ranked for funding that year. Frequently, the ranking dates are in the winter, and farmers rush to sign up when the ranking date is announced.  However, this is Wisconsin and the snow cover makes it difficult for the NRCS staff to get a good look at the land and add all needed practices.  Funding may not be available in the spring to add anything that was missed, but that can be avoided by signing up earlier. In 2011, Wisconsin farmers contracted for over $17 million in conservation projects through EQIP.  An additional $750,000 was received in July that will be used to address some of the unfunded applications in backlog for EQIP and tribal conservation.   The Conservation Stewardship Program will pay over $10 million this year to the 1500 participating CSP farmers. Call now for an appointment to talk about conservation options for your farm.  More information on NRCS programs is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/PROGRAMS/

Program Name

Sign-up

Environmental Quality Incentives Program Open all year
Conservation Stewardship Program Open all year
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program Open all year
Wetlands Reserve Program Open all year
Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program Signup depends on local easement program
Conservation Technical Assistance Available free at any time
Grassland Reserve Program Open all year
Conservation Reserve Program* (CRP) *USDA Farm Service Agency program– signups set nationally Sign up only during specific times
CRP variations (CREP, continuous CRP and SAFE) Open at any time
For more information contact the NRCS office at the USDA Service Center serving your county through http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/about/organization/regions.html

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

1 Comment on Sign Up Now for Farm Conservation Programs

  1. Buggy Ridge Farms // July 23, 2011 at 9:26 am // Reply

    yes, an application can be filed anytime but selection periods are not all year and limited to when funds are made available. it is always best to go into an NRCS office well ahead of these selection periods to update the farm’s conservation plan. a resource concern needs to be identified to qualify for cost sharing assistance through EQIP. CRP is administered by the Farm Service Agency.

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