AR Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Arkansas


Grant amount: Up to US $450,000

Anticipated deadline: Nov 18, 2018

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Nonprofit Working Professional For-Profit Business College / University

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Arkansas

Location of residency: Arkansas

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Overview:

Introduction

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP may also help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental regulations.

National and State Priorities

The following national priorities, consistent with statutory resources concerns that include soil, water, wildlife, air quality, and related natural resource concerns, may be used in EQIP implementation: 

  • Reductions of nonpoint source pollution, such as nutrients, sediment, pesticides, or excess salinity in impaired watersheds consistent with total maximum daily loads (TMDL) where available; the reduction of surface and groundwater contamination; and the reduction of contamination from agricultural sources, such as animal feeding operations; 
  • Conservation of ground and surface water resources;
  • Reduction of emissions, such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and ozone precursors and depleters that contribute to air quality impairment violations of National Ambient Air Quality Standards;
  • Reduction in soil erosion and sedimentation from unacceptable levels on agricultural land;
  • Promotion of at-risk species habitat conservation including development and improvement of wildlife habitat;
  • Energy conservation to help save fuel, improve efficiency of water use, maintain production, and protect soil and water resources by more efficiently using fertilizers and pesticides; and
  • Biological carbon storage and sequestration.

In addition, Arkansas has identified the following priorities:

  • Soil Quality/Health; 
  • Water Quantity: insufficient and excess water;
  • Water Quality: sediment, nutrients;
  • Air Quality;
  • Plants: health/structure;
  • Fish and Wildlife Habitat; and
  • Energy.

Local and Statewide Funding

Local categories - focus on the primary resource issues in a localized area, as identified by the locally-led conservation workgroup representatives for each county or designated local area. 

Statewide categories - address water quality issues related to animal manure management and sedimentation, improved management of irrigation water and reduction in ground water use, forestland enhancement, livestock production, reduction of erosion, and improvement of wildlife habitat resource concerns. 

Primary Issues Addressed by EQIP 

EQIP continues to address those primary resource concerns that were identified by locally led groups. These are: 

  • Water Quality, animal waste; 
  • Water Quality, sediment, including erosion control;
  • Water Quantity, irrigation (especially groundwater decline);
  • Soil Quality, erosion;
  • Plant Health, forests;
  • Water Quality, forests;
  • Plant Health, grazing land; and
  • Wildlife Habitat concerns.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Owners of land in agricultural or forest production or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and that have a natural resource concern on that land may apply to participate in EQIP. 
  • Eligible applicants must:
    • Be agricultural producer (person, legal entity, or joint operation who has an interest in the agricultural operation, or who is engaged in agricultural production or forestry management). 
    • Control or own eligible land.
    • Comply with adjusted gross income (AGI) for less than $900,000.
      • Note: Federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes or Alaska Native corporations are exempt from the AGI payment limitations.
    • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements.
    • Develop an NRCS EQIP plan of operations that addresses at least one natural resource concern.
  • Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farm or ranch lands.