The Missouri USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced November 19, 2021, as the cut-off date to apply for the Fiscal Year 2022 funds through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program.
EQIP allows farmers, ranchers, forestland managers, and landowners an opportunity to conserve natural resources by making available financial assistance to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals, and related resources.
“EQIP allows producers the opportunity to apply for financial assistance to address resource concern on their land,” State Conservationist Scott Edwards said.
Soil Health will be a priority again in Fiscal Year 2022. Along with helping row crop farmers increase organic matter and water-holding capacity, funding will be available for farmers and ranchers to incorporate pasture and hay land practices that improve soil health and resiliency to drought. Funding will also be available to address resource concerns through Agroforestry.
The November 19, 2021 application deadline also applies to the following initiatives:
Soil Health Cropland Initiative– The Soil Health Cropland Initiative is a state initiative focused on assisting cropland producers to address resource concerns associated with soil quality degradation to implement Soil Health Management Systems on their farms.
High Tunnel Initiative– The purpose of the High Tunnel Initiative is to assist producers to extend the growing season for high-value crops in an environmentally safe manner. The practice has the potential to assist producers to address resource concerns by improving plant quality, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport.
Organic Initiative – The EQIP Organic Initiative assists eligible applicants to install conservation practices on agricultural operations related to organic production such as certified organic producers, producers transitioning to organic production, and certification exempt producers according to the USDA-National Organic Program.
On-Farm Energy Initiative– The EQIP On-Farm Energy Initiative assists producers by identifying ways to conserve energy on the farm through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit; and by providing financial and technical assistance to help the producer implement recommendations and conservation practices identified in the audit plan.
National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)– The National Water Quality Initiative is a focused approach to assist landowners in priority watersheds to apply selected conservation practices to reduce the flow of sediment, nutrients, and other runoff into impaired waterways. The FY22 priority watersheds are: Headwaters Petite Creek in Cooper, Moniteau, and Morgan Counties, HUC 103001020401; and Little Hunting Slough in Butler County, HUC 110100070805
Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI)– Four Missouri watersheds are among those selected in 13 States along the Mississippi River as part of continuing Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) efforts. The FY22 MRBI watersheds in Missouri are Upper Apple Creek (HUC 071401050401), Middle Apple Creek (HUC 071401050403) and Lower Apple Creek (HUC 071401050404 in Perry, Cape Girardeau, and Bollinger Counties; Spring Branch-Elk Creek (HUC 102801031302) and Turkey Creek (HUC 102801031301) and Long Branch (HUC 102801031204) in Linn, Sullivan and Chariton Counties; Cane Creek-Diversion Channel (HUC 071401070404) and Dry Creek (HUC 071401070406) in Bollinger and Cape Girardeau Counties; Headwaters Indian Creek (HUC 071100080201), Sandy Fork-West Fork Cuivre River (HUC 071100080105) and Coon Creek (HUC 071100080104) in Ralls, Pike, Audrain, and Montgomery Counties; and Mozingo Creek (HUC 102400130303) in Nodaway County.
Agroforestry Initiative– The Agroforestry Initiative is a state initiative focused on assisting farmers in addressing resource concerns with Agroforestry practices. Agroforestry practices include Tree/Shrub Establishment, Alley Cropping, Windbreak/Shelterbelt, Silvopasture Establishment, Riparian Forest Buffer, and more.
Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership – Missouri’s Central Ozark Glade, Woodland, and Native Diversity Restoration Project will provide additional funding to mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality and restore healthy forest ecosystems on private forestland in the following counties. Phelps, Pulaski, Texas, Howell, Douglas, Ozark, Christian, Taney, Stone, and Barry counties.
NRCS accepts applications for all its programs on a continuous basis, but applications must be filed for these programs by November 19, 2021, to be eligible for the next round of funding. Farmers can submit applications at local NRCS offices. NRCS also offers free technical assistance to all Missouri residents.
For more information about NRCS programs and assistance, visit this link or contact the NRCS service office serving your county. NRCS employees in county offices can provide more information about how to apply for benefits offered by NRCS.