Raleigh, NC, October 19, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the 2021 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) application deadline of November 20, 2020, for North Carolina farmers and private landowners to be considered for available funding.
EQIP, a voluntary conservation program, promotes agricultural production and environmental quality. This program is available to eligible producers and landowners and offers financial and technical assistance to install or implement structural and management practices on private land that deliver environmental benefits, such as improved water quality and reduced soil erosion. Eligible land includes cropland, pastureland and non-industrial private forestland. NRCS provided over $21.5 million in EQIP funding to eligible North Carolina farmers, forest landowners and private landowners in fiscal year 2020, benefiting the environment and natural resources on approximately 62,749 acres across the state.
“NRCS works hard to help eligible farmers and private landowners plan and carry out conservation practices that can benefit all North Carolina’s residents by providing clean air and water, healthy and productive forests, and healthy soils,” said Timothy Beard, state conservationist for NRCS in North Carolina. “EQIP provides crucial funding to help producers carry out these practices on their agricultural land.”
In North Carolina, EQIP will pay approximately 75 percent of the cost to implement conservation practices for eligible producers, and up to 90 percent of the cost for historically underserved farmers, beginning and limited resource, American Indian tribes and veterans.
NRCS accepts EQIP applications year-round but makes funding selections at specific times throughout the year. NRCS is encouraging producers and private landowners to submit their applications as soon as possible because funding is limited.
To learn more about financial and technical assistance available to help North Carolina farmers and other landowners improve and protect their land, visit NRCS in North Carolina’s website at www.NC.nrcs.usda.gov, or visit your local NRCS office. USDA service center locations are listed at http://offices.usda.gov.