CW 09-12-17 NRCS Cost-Share Ranking Begins Feb. 1
February 1 is the cutoff date to rank applications from farmers and ranchers for cost-share funds to install soil, water, grazing, or wildlife practices, according to the Nebraska Office of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. If you're interested in learning more about the available programs or need help in submitting an application, contact any NRCS office in your USDA Service Center.
Steve Chick, NRCS state conservationist, said that last year more than $52 million in federal dollars, not counting the landowner’s investment, were committed in conservation programs. Most of these programs are in a continuous sign-up where farmers and ranchers can apply any time.
The programs include:
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). “This is the base conservation program for most people,” Chick said. “Irrigation practices, erosion control, grazing practices, and animal manure systems are just a sample of the options available,” he said. EQIP also offers several special initiative funds. These initiatives target: forestry, organic agriculture, wildlife habitat legacy areas, the Agriculture Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), which targets five areas in Nebraska for water conservation, and the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI), which targets the removal of invasive vegetation from fully and over-appropriated river basins in Nebraska.
- Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) aims to improve wildlife habitat on private lands.
- Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) helps landowners restore wetlands or their property by providing an easement payment or cost-share funds, depending on the option selected.
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which rewards producers for past conservation practices and offers enhancements to do additional conservation work, is also under a continuous sign-up. “The ranking cutoff date for this program is not yet determined but will be after Feb. 1, 2010,” Chick said.
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) allows enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grassland under threat of conversion to other uses, while retaining the right for grazing.
- Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP), which provides matching funds for development rights to keep to vulnerable range or cropland in agricultural uses.
For more information about NRCS conservation programs visit www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.
Natural Resources Conservation Service Release