Indiana NRCS Sets Application Dates for Voluntary Conservation Programs
South Bend, IN, October 11, 2023– Farm Bill program application dates have been set for Indiana’s agricultural producers who want to improve natural resources and address concerns on their land. Curtis Knueven, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Acting State Conservationist, announced that December 8 will be the application deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in Indiana. This year’s funding levels are a historic high for Indiana NRCS, bringing $42 million in EQIP and $22 million in CSP for Indiana landowners.
EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available for agricultural producers. Through EQIP, NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices that reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, improve soil health, improve water and air quality and create wildlife habitat. Also included in this sign up are several state and national initiatives. A full list of initiatives can be found by visiting https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs-initiatives/eqip-environmental-quality-incentives/indiana/environmental-quality-incentives.
“EQIP helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals,” said Knueven. “Farmers can receive assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on their working agricultural land while helping to increase their yields.”
CSP is an important Farm Bill conservation program that helps producers who are already practicing good stewar
dship to take their natural resource management to the next level. The program helps to improve both their agricultural production and provide valuable conservation benefits such as cleaner and more abundant water, as well as healthier soils and better wildlife habitat.
“Whether you are looking to improve grazing conditions, increase crop resiliency, or develop wildlife habitat, we can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet those goals,” Knueven said. “We can help you identify natural resource problems in your operation and provide technical and financial assistance to solve those problems or attain higher stewardship levels in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner.”
While applications are accepted year-round, interested producers should work with their local NRCS staff and apply by December 8 to be considered for the current funding period. Applications received after December 8 will automatically be considered during the next funding cycle.
For more information about Farm Bill programs and other technical and financial assistance available through Indiana NRCS conservation programs, visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/indiana or contact your St. joseph County district conservationist at 574-936-2024 ext. 4.