The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has launched an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to offer farmers and ranchers financial and technical assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices and activities on working agricultural landscapes. Through EQIP, farmers can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with them. Applications to receive funding for voluntary conservation programs are due on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
Examples of voluntary conservation programs include improving water and air quality, conserving ground and surface water, increasing soil health and reducing soil erosion and sedimentation, improving or creating wildlife habitat, and mitigation against drought and increasing weather volatility.
While NRCS offers a broad array of conservation practices, the agency identifies a sub-set as critical for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon and ultimately mitigating the impacts of climate change. These climate-smart conservation practices are prioritized in this targeted EQIP signup period and support systems for:
- Building soil health.
- Improving nitrogen management.
- Improving livestock waste management systems.
- Enhancing grazing and pasture management.
- Improving agroforestry, forestry and upland wildlife habitat.
- Improving conservation management for rice production.
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