Friday, Oct. 19, is the deadline to submit applications under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement conservation practices, leading to cleaner water and air, healthier soil, and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations.
Delaware County producers have several projects available to them which address water quality, forestry management, improving pollinator populations, applying best management practices and more. Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov for details.
In addition, landusers who farm in the Upper Big Walnut Creek watershed may apply for special funds available under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program entitled “Promoting Best Management Practices for Phosphorus,” a collaborative grant amongst Delaware, Knox, Licking, and Morrow Soil & Water Conservation Districts. To find out more, contact the NRCS office in your county: Delaware at 740-362-4011, Knox at 740-392-7806, Licking at 740-258-6753 or Morrow at 419-946-3755.
Another source of special EQIP funds is targeted towards the removal of invasive species in woodlots in Delaware County. Healthy trees and woodlands are part of a comprehensive approach to improving water quality and soil health.
To participate in USDA conservation programs, applicants should be farmers, farm landowners, or forest landowners and meet eligibility criteria. Don’t delay – time is running out! Get the latest information on the Ohio NRCS website at www.nrcs.usda.gov and select “EQIP Application Deadlines” near the middle of the landing page.
Bonnie Dailey is deputy director of the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. For information, go to www.delawareswcd.org.