USDA Accepting Applications for EQIP Urban Agricultural Initiative in Alabama

Dan Alabama, USDA-NRCS

urban agricultural
Courtesy of NRCS
Image credit: Douglas Gayeton

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama has announced they are accepting applications from urban agricultural producers for Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) projects under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This program offers producers technical and financial assistance to address resource concerns on their land.

“As American agriculture continues to grow in new directions, NRCS conservation assistance will grow along with it.” said Ben Malone, State Conservationist. “This initiative will build off of work done previously in the Birmingham area and allow us to expand and target the delivery of our conservation efforts to more of our growing number of urban producers across the state.”

Alabama is offering financial assistance to assist urban growers in areas such as: Soil Health, Erosion Control, Irrigation and Water Conservation, Weeds and Pests, Pollinator Habitat, and High Tunnels. Five Urbanized Areas within the State are a part of the pilot initiative for Fiscal Year 2022, and include Birmingham/Bessemer, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery.

NRCS image

Eligible conservation practices through this initiative include those that promote soil health, reduce erosion, and lessen nutrient runoff, such as cover crops, nutrient and pest management, and Seasonal High Tunnels.

NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs year-round, but to be considered for 2022 funding applications need to be submitted to NRCS by May 11, 2022.

Special emphasis participants like socially disadvantaged, limited resource, new and beginning, and eligible military veteran farmers and ranchers are eligible for a higher payment rate. In addition, these historically underserved farmers and ranchers are eligible for a 50 percent advanced payment for purchasing materials or contracting to help with practice implementation in EQIP.

For more information contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center.