USDA offers early conservation sign-up in Michigan | Michigan Farm News

USDA offers early conservation sign-up in Michigan

Category: Politics

by NRCS; Farm News Media

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Financial assistance is available, through the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), for implementing designated conservation practices such as installing properly engineered grassed waterways, windbreaks, nutrient management plans, cover crops, forest management plans, crop residue and tillage management practices.

Michigan farmers and private forest owners who submit applications by Nov. 2, 2018, will have the first opportunity to receive fiscal year 2019 conservation financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to Michigan Farm Bureau Ag Ecology Department Manager, Laura Campbell, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced funding availability for a number of conservation initiatives through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

“Initiatives included in the initial selection are targeted to priority conservation areas and resource concerns,” Campbell said. “If you are considering implementing eligible practices as a land-owner or operator, you might want to consider submitting an early application to increase your odds of receiving cost-sharing to help cover some of the costs.”

The current selection period includes funding for conservation activity plans, organic producers and producers transitioning to organic, seasonal high tunnels in Wayne and Genesee counties, honey bee habitat, on-farm energy conservation, and regional initiatives to improve water quality and wildlife habitat.

The funding is available to eligible agricultural producers and non-industrial private forest owners in Michigan. Financial assistance is available for implementing designated conservation practices such as windbreaks, nutrient management plans, cover crops, forest management plans, crop residue and tillage management and many others.

Interested producers should contact their local USDA Service Center or visit the Michigan NRCS website to find out what initiatives and practices are available in their area. Applications are ranked and selected for funding on a competitive basis.

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Conservation activities receiving financial assistance must be part of an agricultural or forest operation’s conservation plan. Successful applicants enter into a contract with NRCS to implement conservation activities and are reimbursed for a portion of the cost.

NRCS provides higher levels of financial assistance for beginning farmers and historically underserved producers. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, producers and forest owners are encouraged to submit applications at any time.

More information about conservation financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program is available at local NRCS offices and online at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov.

The current selection period includes funding for seasonal high tunnels in Wayne and Genesee counties.