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Environmental Quality Incentives

How EQIP Works In Texas
EQIP is a continuous sign-up program that allows landowners or operators to apply for financial and technical assistance for the application of specific conservation practices. All applications that address the local or state priorities and provide the most environmental benefits will have an excellent chance of being funded.

The NRCS in Texas has implemented a lean and local process that streamlines the application and evaluation procedures. The State Technical Committee and Local Work Groups have recommended the practices eligible for financial assistance and the cost share and incentive rates that will be paid.

In Texas, financial assistance funds will be used to address both the local high priority practices identified by the Local Work Group and the statewide resource concerns identified by the State Technical Committee. Landowners and operators will choose the practices and evaluation system that best fits their needs.

Cost share rates will normally not exceed 50 percent for regular producers. Most counties have set their rates at 50 percent; however some are lower in order to provide assistance to more producers. Limited Resource Farmers and Ranchers (LRFR) will be eligible for 90 percent cost share for all eligible practices. Beginning Farmers and Ranchers will be eligible for a cost share rate higher than the regular rate in many counties. A special LRFR program is also available. A LRFR may apply for practices eligible in the county base program, statewide resource concerns or the special LRFR program.

A contract containing an EQIP Plan of Operations will be developed on applications that are accepted into the program. The minimum contract period will be one year following implementation of the last conservation practice but cannot exceed 10 years. Technical assistance will be provided by NRCS or, if desired, by a private Technical Service Provider (TSP) funded by NRCS.

Producer Eligibility
Agricultural producers engaged in livestock or agricultural production may participate in EQIP. There are, however, circumstances that may limit an individual’s or entity’s participation; these include:
• Federal and state governments and political subdivisions thereof, are not eligible.
• The applicant must be in compliance with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions.
• The individual or entity may not be eligible due to Adjusted Gross Income provisions.

Eligibility Criteria
In order to be eligible to signup for EQIP the applicant must be determined to be an eligible producer by the NRCS. The land offered for EQIP must also be determined eligible by NRCS. Eligible land for the 2007 EQIP signup is land that has a resource concern identified by a certified conservation planner that can be addressed through application of the conservation practices eligible for this signup period. The participant must complete and sign all necessary forms including the CCC-1200 and Appendix (which is the official application form) prior to the end of the signup period. Eligibility forms and documentation required by the FSA must be submitted to FSA within 30 days after application for the program is made. Cost-share eligibility is contingent on the producer not starting the practice prior to having an approved EQIP contract signed by the appropriate Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) representative without prior approval by the NRCS State Conservationist.

Ranking Pools
Eligible persons may select to apply in the county base program recommended by the Local Work Group or in one of the Statewide Resource Concerns recommended by the State Technical Committee.

The base program will vary from county to county depending on the priorities set at the local level. Check the link for your county to determine the eligible practices, cost share rates and ranking criteria that will be used.

The State Resource Concerns to be addressed are listed below:
• Water Quantity - Brush Management
• Water Quantity - Irrigation
• Water and Air Quality - AFO/CAFO
• Wildlife
• Invasive Species
• Water Quality - South Central Texas
• Plant Condition - Reforestation
• Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher

About EQIP
EQIP was established in the 1996 Farm Bill to provide a single, voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers to address significant natural resource concerns. Nationally, it provides technical and financial assistance to address natural resource concerns. Administered by the NRCS, EQIP was reauthorized in the 2002 Farm Bill and awards cost share assistance to agricultural producers who will apply cost share and incentive practices which provide significant environmental benefit.

Please mail comments on local resource concerns in Fort Bend County to USDA/NRCS at 1402 Band Road, Suite 200, Rosenberg, TX. Service center locations and program information can be found on the NRCS Texas website.
 



CPSWCD Sponsors

Farm Bureau of
Ft. Bend County
  Damon Farm
& Ranch
  N.C. Pipe   Angleton
Feed & Supply
  Ft. Bend
Excavation, Inc.
  Capital
Farm Credit


 

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