Area farmers and private landowners interested in treating resource concerns on their lands have until Oct. 7 to be considered for priority funding for conservation programs administered through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Four of the most popular USDA conservation programs are included in this signup period:
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program-Wetland Reserve Easements (ACEP-WRE)
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
- Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
NRCS accepts program applications on a continuous basis but sets application cutoff dates as program funding allows. Interested producers and landowners should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the Oct. 7 application cutoff to ensure they are considered for 2023 funding.
ACEP-WRE (Wetland Easements)
Through the ACEP-WRE, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and tribal entities for protecting and restoring wetlands through the purchase of a wetland conservation easement. NRCS will enroll eligible land through permanent or 30-year easements.
Private landowners and tribal entities can contact their local NRCS office to find out if they have eligible wetlands on their property, how to complete the application form, or for information about required ownership documents.
Through CSP, NRCS helps agricultural producers build their operation while implementing conservation practices that help ensure its sustainability. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements, and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is intended for working lands including cropland, pastureland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.
Through EQIP, NRCS provides conservation planning and financial assistance to implement conservation practices such as no-till, cover crops, terraces, grassed waterways, nutrient management, manure management facilities, and pasture management.
The Oct. 7 application signup cutoff includes EQIP initiatives, such as the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), Mississippi River Basin Health Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), Prairie Pothole Water Quality and Wildlife Program, Organic Initiative, High Tunnel Initiative, and On-Farm Energy Initiative.
Through RCPP, NRCS co-invests with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes tied to resource concerns.
For a complete list of Iowa RCPP project, visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/ia/programs/farmbill/rcpp/.
To apply for NRCS conservation programs, contact your local NRCS office. For more information about conservation planning and programs to help treat natural resource issues on your land, visit www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov.