Farmers and landowners in Arkansas have until Feb. 21, 2014, to submit applications to receive cost-share assistance to implement conservation activities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s (EQIP) Organic, Ag Energy and High Tunnel Initiatives for the 2014 program year.
Applicants can sign up at their local U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field service center.
Individuals and other entities engaged in livestock and/or crop production are eligible to participate. Eligible land includes cropland, pasture, private non-industrial forest land, and other farm and ranch lands.
EQIP in Arkansas is specifically designed to address the resource concerns of water quality issues related to animal manure management and sediment, improved management of irrigation water and reduction in ground water use, reduction of erosion, and improvement of wildlife habitat.
All applications will be evaluated for funding based on a state developed procedure to optimize environmental benefits. Applications ranking highest in a funding category will be funded subject to availability.
A list of eligible conservation practices and how they apply to regular participants or historically underserved participants — beginning, limited resource or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers — will be posted on the Arkansas NRCS website at www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov.
Applicants qualifying as historically underserved may receive up to additional 25 percent cost-share. However, no applicant can receive more than 90 percent. Advance payments are available for historically underserved producers, of up to 30 percent of the anticipated costs to be incurred to purchase materials or services to implement a conservation practice.
For more information, visit www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov or contact the local USDA/NRCS field service center.