USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama has announced that October 20th is the signup batching date for producers for 2018 funding for various conservation programs. They include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
Signup Batching Deadline Announced for Alabama’s Natural Resources Conservation Programs
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist for Alabama Ben Malone announced that October 20, 2017, is the signup batching date for producers for 2018 funding for the following conservation programs:
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) which includes energy retrofits, wildlife, forestry, cropland erosion, cropland irrigation, grazing land, and water quality concerns. National landscape initiatives are also included through EQIP funding. These include:
- Gopher Tortoise Habitat Improvement: includes forestry practices and prescribed burning for pre-commercial
- Longleaf Pine Initiative: includes prescribed burning on existing longleaf stands and the establishment of new
- Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) which includes the African American Forest Restoration and Retention Initiative which will target Socially Disadvantaged participants in Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, and Wilcox counties.
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) which has two
- Agricultural Land Easement (ALE): includes the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program and Grassland Reserve Program
- Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE): open land that has wet soils and was drained.
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis; however, selecting applications for funding is completed periodically through batching periods with specific cutoff dates. In EQIP programs, eligible producers may receive a payment based on the statewide average cost of the installation of the conservation practice.
Special emphasis participants like socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers are eligible for a higher payment rate. In addition, socially disadvantaged, veteran, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers can receive up to 50 percent advanced payment for purchasing materials or contract.
For more information about NRCS and its programs, visit your local USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Individuals are not eligible for USDA programs until they have completed the Farm Bill eligibility requirements. General program information is available on the Alabama NRCS website at www.al.nrcs.usda.gov.