Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

New EQIP funding opportunity available to ranchers, farmers

HURON, S.D. – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials announced March 17 as the batching date for applications for a special funding opportunity through the popular Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) administered by the USDA’s NRCS.

“A new special funding opportunity is available through EQIP. This funding is from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and will focus on climate mitigation activities and carbon sequestration,” said Jennifer Wurtz, EQIP Program Coordinator, with the NRCS, Huron, South Dakota.

“These climate mitigation actives include soil health and nitrogen management conservation practices such as: Cover Crops, Conservation Crop Rotation, Residue and Tillage Management, and Nutrient Management. Additionally, forest and wildlife habitat conservation practices like: Forest Stand Improvement, Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment and Renovation, and Riparian Herbaceous Cover will also be included.”

She continued, “The climate mitigation can also be on grazing and pasture with these conservation practices: Prescribed Grazing, Pasture and Hayland Planting, and Range Plantings.”

Applications are batched annually for funding consideration. This year, the batching date for IRA funding is March 17, 2023. This is the date by which an operator or landowner must sign an application at their local NRCS office for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 funding consideration.

The EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers voluntarily implement conservation practices to improve natural resources on working agricultural lands. Payment is provided for a variety of practices to address natural resource concerns such as water quality, grazing land health and productivity, soil erosion and soil quality, and wildlife habitat development.

Applications for all NRCS conservation programs are accepted continuously; however, the application batching date, or call for ranking, is annual. “The batching date for this popular conservation program comes around quickly and the ranking process can be competitive. Operators or landowners should apply early, and not wait, to visit NRCS in their local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center,” said Wurtz.

For information about technical assistance and conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted. For more information about EQIP or to apply, please contact your local NRCS Office or visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Programs/FinancialAssistance/EQIP.

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