The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama is reminding agricultural producers and forest landowners the first cut-off date to apply for funding to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices is Friday, March 24.
NRCS is making funds from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) available for its conservation programs. In Alabama, applications are being accepted state-wide for both IRA-Environmental Quality Incentives Program (IRA-EQIP), and the IRA-Conservation Stewardship Program (IRA-CSP). That includes Climate Smart Agricultural and Forestry (CSAF) activities. Within IRA-EQIP, supporting practices may be requested, but will only be included in a conservation plan if they facilitate a CSAF practice. Within CSP, only those enhancements listed as a CSAF enhancement may be included in an IRA-CSP conservation plan.
While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, selections for funding is completed periodically through batching periods with specific cutoff dates. The first cutoff date for these programs is March 24th, 2023. Applications received after this date will be held and considered for subsequent funding opportunities as available funds permit.
Within EQIP, special emphasis participants like socially disadvantaged, limited resource, new and beginning, and eligible military veteran farmers and ranchers are eligible for a higher payment. 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 visit your local USDA Service Center.