USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama has announced applications are being accepted for two different programs.
One involves several new and expanded opportunities for climate-smart agriculture in 2022. Updates include nationwide availability of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Conservation Incentive Contracts option and a Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Initiative. These improvements to NRCS’ working lands conservation programs, combined with continued program opportunities in Alabama, are part of the Administration’s broader effort to support climate-smart agriculture.
The other signup is for the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), where Alabama is offering an opportunity for agricultural producers in priority watersheds within the state to apply for financial assistance to install conservation practices that protect water quality through NWQI. Eligible watersheds are located within Blount, Cullman, Dekalb, Etowah, Jackson, Marshall, and Morgan counties.
The three targeted NWQI watersheds include:
• Guntersville Lake – Short Creek (0603000108 HUC10)
• Graves Creek (031601110202 HUC12)
• Eightmile Creek (031601090104 HUC12)
Plus, there is a Source Water Protection Area designated for the Pisgah, Alabama community.
Eligible conservation practices through NWQI include those that promote soil health, reduce erosion and lessen nutrient runoff, such as cover crops, reduced tillage, nutrient management, and animal waste management systems. NRCS will utilize funds to implement core water quality practices in the targeted watersheds.
Applications for both programs will be accepted through February 25, 2022. For more information, visit www.al.nrcs.usda.gov, or contact your local USDA Service Center.