The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to remind Florida urban agricultural producers the deadline to apply for Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) projects under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is May 13th. This program offers producers technical and financial assistance to address resource concerns on their land. Approximately $500,000 in funding will be available to Florida participants through a competitive process.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida serves all agriculture – large to small, conventional to organic, rural to urban. As American agriculture continues to grow in new directions, NRCS conservation assistance is growing right along with it.
Eligible areas for the program are those that have a population of 50 thousand or higher and include a two-mile adjoining radius. Urban agricultural projects will be ranked according to priority resource concerns. The top three resource concerns in Florida are: source water depletion; degraded plant conditions; and field, sediment, nutrient, and pathogen loss. Other priority resource concerns include field pesticide loss, inefficient energy use, pest pressure, soil quality limitations, terrestrial habitat, weather resilience, and storage and handling of pollutants.
While NRCS accepts these applications year-round, Florida producers and landowners should apply by May 13, 2022 to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Any applications received after that date will be considered during the next funding cycle.
To apply for EQIP Urban Agricultural Initiative projects, contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center.