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PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Arkansas farmers and landowners have until Nov. 21, to sign up
for financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, known
as EQIP, for the 2015 year, said Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at
the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
And, because signup is continuous, if producers miss this deadline, their application
will be accepted in future funding.
EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices.
Payments are made after conservation practices and activities identified in an EQIP
plan are implemented. Contracts can last up to 10 years.
Socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and
veterans are eligible for an increased payment rate and may receive an advance payment
of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services to implement conservation practices
in their EQIP contracts.
Many producers already follow many good conservation practices such as crop rotation,
nutrient management and herbaceous weed control, but they do not sign up for these
management practices or list them in their conservation plans, English said.
“This is a mistake as acceptance into EQIP and funding are on a point basis. Producers
are passing up points and money,” he said. He advises producers that the next time
they sign up for EQIP funding to sign up for those good management practices they
The EQIP website lists more than 450 management practices and their corresponding
EQIP payment rates.
“Of course, the first step is to develop a conservation plan,” English said. “It can
help you decide which USDA cost share assistance programs and practices are suitable
for your farm operation to protect and improve your land.”
A conservation plan is a free service provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation
Service. With your help, an NRCS representative will inventory the resources on your
farm and help you interpret the information about the land, its soil and production
capability. You can discuss concerns and solutions field by field.
For more information, contact your local Extension associate or sign up at your local
NRCS service center.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Program offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Carol Sanders Cooperative Extension ProgramUA-Pine Bluff
Media Contact: Carol Sanders UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences(870) email@example.com