Providing Conservation Practices to Improve Soil Health and Protect Natural Resources
For the Antigo Times
Lincoln & Langlade Counties, Wis. – Farmers will want to plan ahead and sign up early for USDA conservation funding. Peggy Winter, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) District Conservationist for Lincoln and Langlade Counties, announced farmers interested in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) need to apply by September 2, 2016, for funding in 2017.
EQIP is the primary program available to farmers for farm and woodland conservation work, offering payments for over 110 basic conservation practices. Last year, Wisconsin received about $21 million in funds for EQIP practices.
“By getting applications in early, we have time for staff to visit individual farms to help plan all practices needed and offer advice,” said Winter. “It’s easier to do an accurate plan before the snow flies, when you can better see the landscape.”
All eligible applications received by Sept. 2, 2016, will be evaluated and ranked for funding in 2017. Farmers may contact their local USDA Service Center to get started on producer eligibility and planning. Winter reminds farmers who are interested in practices that may require permits, such as manure storage or streambank restoration, to begin planning and seeking permits as soon as possible. Applicants with shovel-ready projects (designs completed and permits obtained) will receive higher priority.
Signup by Sept. 2, 2016 for Several Special Initiatives Focusing on Conservation Efforts
Special sign-up opportunities are also now open for On-Farm Energy, Organic, and Seasonal High Tunnel conservation practices, as well as some landscape based initiatives. All offer technical and financial assistance through EQIP.