NRCS California’s Conservation Funding Assistance Deadlines Are Fast Approaching
Additional Sign-Up Deadlines for Two Popular USDA Programs
DAVIS, Calif., March 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is accepting applications for special conservation priorities through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) – two popular USDA programs. While NRCS accepts applications for these programs year-round, interested applicants should apply no later than April 3 for EQIP Priorities and April 14 for CSP.
Interested landowners should contact their local NRCS offices as soon as possible or visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/find-a-service-center.
Through EQIP, there is millions available for conservation practices and initiatives, including:
- National Air Quality Initiative to assist farmers in replacing outdated on-farm engines with new and cleaner-burning technology.
- NRCS and Bureau of Reclamation WaterSmart partner projects to help improve water infrastructure, delivery, and application on farms.
- National Water Quality Initiative for targeted conservation actions to improve water quality in the Calleguas Creek and Salt River watersheds.
- Joint Chiefs initiative for fire hazard reduction, vegetation management, and post wildfire forest restoration projects that improve wildfire forest resilience in California.
- Groundwater Recharge Pilot Program to assist with on-farm recharge and address groundwater depletion.
- Wildlife Initiatives for targeted conservation to create and manage wildlife habitat on farms and ranches.
EQIP provides financial assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits. These include improved water and air quality, improved irrigation efficiency, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, forest restoration, and creating or enhancing wildlife habitat.
There are millions available through CSP Classic for producers to earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities integrated within their agricultural operations. CSP enhancements like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, and buffer strips help producers improve soil health while protecting water quality. Other CSP activities help sustain and increase pollinator and beneficial insect habitat in harmony with agriculture production on their land.
Historically Underserved Producer Benefits
Special provisions are also available for historically underserved producers. For EQIP, historically underserved producers are eligible for advance payments to help offset costs related to purchasing materials or contracting services up front. In addition, historically underserved producers can receive higher EQIP payment rates (up to 90% of average cost). NRCS sets aside EQIP and CSP funds for historically underserved producers.
NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America’s private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources since 1935.
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SOURCE USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service
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