The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is continuously accepting applications.
Applicants can contact Derrick Harmon, NRCS, District Conservationist, or Rocemi Morales, NRCS, Resource Conservationist, with questions and to complete an application.
Eligibility to participate in USDA programs must be filed at the Lorain County Farm Service Agency (FSA).
See the EQIP page of the USDA NRCS website for more information.
The Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) is the primary, financial-based, conservation program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). EQIP provides one-time incentive payments for the installation of a wide variety of conservation practices.
EQIP is focused on agricultural land that is used for crop or livestock production. The goal is to help sustain and improve lands used for agriculture including cropland, grassland, farmstead and livestock facilities.
Special EQIP funding is also available for forestry, organic and specialty crop farming.
To qualify for EQIP applicants need to be USDA “program eligible” and need to have produced at least $1000 in agricultural income annually for the last 5 years.Applications for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program can be accepted anytime at the NRCS office. The cutoff for annual funding cycle is usually during the winter months. Applicants are selected based on a ranking scale that evaluates potential improvement to soil and water quality and general environmental benefit.
Beginning farmers (less then ten years experience), those classified as Limited Resource Farmers (LRF) and participants meeting the definition of Socially Disadvantaged will all receive special consideration.
Once applicants are selected for funding a plan and contract will be developed. Engineering practices will need to be surveyed and designed. Once all this work has been completed work can begin, usually the following summer.
On the average Lorain County has been able to secure approximately $125,000 in EQIP funds annually. Projects are funded at the following cost-share level:
Cost share levels are based on average annual costs as developed by NRCS at a state level. Costs in excess of 100% average costs are the responsibility of the contract holder.
EQIP contracts can be developed so that practices are scheduled for anywhere from one to three years. All practices are installed and certified under the direction of NRCS.
For additional information contact Rocemi Morales at the address above.