The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington announced Oct. 20, 2023 as the application deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Classic and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Classic for Fiscal Year 2024. We accept applications at any time, but applications received after October 20th will not likely be considered for funding until next year.
EQIP is a voluntary, technical, and financial assistance program designed to help farmers, ranchers, forestland owners, and Tribes with the application of conservation measures. One example is helping farmers with residue and tillage management. Currently, this practice may pay up to $43/acre to move from more conventional operations to two-pass or less. There is no limit on the number of acres someone can enroll.
CSP is for producers who are passionate about conservation and environmental stewardship and offers technical and financial assistance to help them take their conservation efforts to the next level. A couple of popular enhancements that farmers often participate in are variable rate nutrient management and the adoption of precision pesticide application techniques. Variable rate nutrient management payments have been approximately $25/acre over a 5-year contract period, when including CSP’s payment for existing activities on the farm. Other farmers have adopted precision spraying techniques like “Weed-It” technology and individually controlled variable rate nozzles. This enhancement has historically paid approximately $21/acre over a 5-year contract period, when including CSP’s payment for existing activities on the farm.
NRCS programs also fund projects beyond dryland agriculture. This includes practices like cross-fencing and water developments to support grazing management plans, wildlife habitat plantings both in uplands and along waterways, forest management plans and associated forest health practices, and high tunnel systems.
Please contact your local NRCS office at 509-397-4301 or email Samuel.Franzen@USDA.GOV. We recommend contacting our office to discuss any potential projects and we can help you navigate our programs to find the right fit for your conservation goals.