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Environmental quality incentive program (EQIP)

Fri, Nov 29th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) offers cost share and incentive payments for landowners and producers adopting new conservation practices in their operations. The first 2014 scoring period will occur in December 2013 and rankings will take place until February 2014, so agricultural producers looking to solve natural resource problems on their farms should apply now for assistance through EQIP.

Some of the practices available through EQIP again in 2014 will be:

•Grassed Waterways are a shaped or graded channel that is established with suitable vegetation to carry surface water at a non-erosive velocity to a stable outlet. They are used to help reduce gully erosion, which in HEL fields need to be controlled, and improve water quality.

•Cover Crops to reduce erosion from wind and water and to increase soil organic matter. The cost share ranges from $46 to $80 per acre depending on the crop. Cover crops offer a wide range of benefits. They trap nitrogen left behind by fertilizer in the field, which otherwise may be washed away over the winter. They conserve water, improve the quality of soil, suppress weeds, and control insect pests and erosion. Cover crops can also provide an excellent source of animal feed during periods when drought has reduced forage.

•Prescribed Grazing involves better management and utilization of pasture forage so that it is more productive. Larger pastures are split into smaller “paddocks” so livestock graze more evenly and the other paddocks are allowed adequate time to recover. Cost share money is available for fencing, waterlines, water tanks, and pasture planting.

Cost Share rates are higher if you qualify as a Beginning Farmer/Rancher, Limited Resource Farmer/Rancher, and/or a Socially Disadvantaged Farmer/Rancher.

These are just a few of the practices that we can provided technical assistance with. For more information on other practices available you can log onto www.mn.nrcs.usda.gov or stop into our office at 413 Farmers St Box A, Preston, MN 55965. We can also be reached at 507.765.3878 Ext 3. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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