Arkansas producers: apply for EQIP 2022 funds by November 19

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Will hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Humanities

Now is the time for Arkansas growers to apply for cost-shared assistance funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) for the 2022 program year. Kandi Williams, extension program assistant for the Small Farm program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said. The deadline to apply is November 19.

According to an NRCS press release, the agency accepts applications for the program on an ongoing basis, but sets dates for grouping and ranking applications based on funding. Arkansas farmers and landowners who submit applications to their local NRCS office by November 19 will be considered for the current funding round. Requests received after this date will be considered in subsequent funding periods, depending on the availability of funds.

“EQIP financial assistance allows producers to install conservation practices in areas such as improving irrigation efficiency, promoting soil health or restoring pasture on their farm or farm. ranch, ”Williams said. “Other practices include establishing or improving wildlife habitat, improving biological operations, and conserving energy. “

Williams said that EQIP often shares up to 90 percent of the average cost of conservation practices implemented by socially disadvantaged, resource-constrained, novice and veteran farmers and ranchers. These producers are also eligible to receive up to 50 percent prepayment for the purchase of materials or contracted services to begin the installation of approved conservation practices.

“Payments are made after the conservation practices and activities identified in a contract and plan approved by EQIP are implemented in accordance with NRCS standards,” she said. “The contracts can last up to 10 years.

Williams said some farmers may be reluctant when they understand that EQIP is a reimbursement program. But they don’t have to worry.

“If a farmer grows vegetables and pays $ 10,000 to have a well or pump station installed, the NRCS will send an agent to inspect the practice,” she said. “If it meets standards and specifications, the NRCS will pay up to 90% of the average cost. “

The NRCS also offers special initiatives, one of which is the StrikeForce Healthy Forest / UAPB Keeping it in the Family program for which Williams is the coordinator. The program provides additional funding to help underserved producers improve their forest lands through forest conservation practices. This initiative is available to producers in the following counties: Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Drew, Hempstead, Howard, Jefferson, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita, Pike, Sevier and Union.

Producers can withdraw and submit an EQIP request to their local NRCS office. The application form is also available online at www.nrcs.usda.gov. UAPB Smallholder Farming Program extension staff can help participants complete application forms and select practices to apply for if necessary. Producers can contact Karen Lee at [email protected] or (870) 575-7225 for assistance.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all of its extension and research programs and services regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion , age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information or any other legally protected status, and is an affirmative action / equal opportunity employer.


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