Nov. 15 is the deadline to participate in the latest round of funding for a voluntary conservation program popular with almond growers. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has established the deadline to submit an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) application. In past years, growers have implemented a variety of cost-share programs through EQIP for irrigation, nutrient management, cover crop and pest management projects.
EQIP is a continuous sign-up, voluntary conservation program. An EQIP application received by Nov. 15 will be considered for fiscal year 2014 funding. Applications received after Nov. 15 may be considered later in the year, depending on funding availability.
To be eligible, an EQIP applicant must have a vested interest in production agricultural land or non-industrial private forestland, and meet other program eligibility requirements. EQIP helps eligible producers plan and implement conservation practices that address a wide range of natural resource concerns and provide opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.
The basis for any EQIP application is a conservation plan. Interested applicants are encouraged to request conservation planning and technical assistance from a local NRCS field office. NRCS staff is available on a first-come, first-served basis to help producers create conservation plans.
Further information is available at a local NRCS Service Center.