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Farmers: USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Info

Tri-State Environmental Quality Incentives Program Signup Period Deadlines 

Toledo, OH. The USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to farmers to implement a wide variety of practices designed to improve resource management. Indiana and Michigan NRCS recently announced December 19, 2014 as their signup deadline while Ohio NRCS announced a January 16, 2015 deadline.  Farmers are welcome to submit applications to EQIP on an ongoing basis.

Among the many EQIP program options are Nutrient Management Conservation Activity Plans (CAP 104), to evaluate current practices and improve nutrient application timing, placement, product selection and application methods. NRCS 590 Nutrient Management is available to implement nutrient management plans, Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans are an option for livestock operations. The Conservation Stewardship Program supports ongoing implementation of resource management practices such as buffer strips, cover crops, grassed waterways, filter strips, drainage water management and windbreaks just to name a few.  All are components for improved water quality.

“We look forward to working with landowners in developing a plan to improve systems on the farm and promote good water quality” says Mary Ann Hawk, District Conservationist for Seneca County NRCS in Ohio.  “Whether crop, pasture or woodlot there are many available practices to address resource concerns.”

These programs can help keep fertilizer on farm fields and out of rivers, lakes and streams. According to Dr. Thomas Green, president of the IPM Institute, an independent nonprofit working to improve Lake Erie water quality, “When nutrients are lost from cropland, farmers lose money and water quality can suffer. We’re working to help growers gain access to NRCS programs to improve resource use efficiency and water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin.”

“I used EQIP to get started using cover crops a few years ago.  Knowing that I had a little backing made the transition easier.  I have continued to expand my acres and have seen improvements in just a few years” says Joe Kimmet of Tiffin, Ohio.

Applications are available online or at your local NRCS office.  When visiting NRCS,  have in mind your vision and concerns for your land.  A specialist will discuss what is available to meet your needs and walk you through the application process.  Additional information about the EQIP programs can be found online at:

Michigan: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/mi/programs/financial/eqip/

Indiana: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/programs/financial/eqip/

Ohio: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/oh/home/?cid=nrcs144p2_029505

For more information about IPM Institute programs:

Visit www.partnershipfarm.org

Call or email Mark Adelsperger, Resource Management Planner, IPM Institute

(419) 294-8960, madelsperger@ipminstitute.org

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