The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications from Oregon farmers, ranchers and forestland owners for financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
EQIP is a voluntary Farm Bill program that helps agricultural producers offset the costs to perform conservation activities on private lands.
Upcoming application deadlines are Oct. 19, 2018 and Nov. 16, 2018. The Oct. 19 deadline applies only to EQIP assistance for landowners in Curry County with Sudden Oak Death on their property; and for farmers and ranchers in Sherman, Wasco and Gilliam counties who have been impacted by recent wildfires.
The Nov. 16 deadline applies to the following statewide EQIP initiatives and select projects:
- Organic EQIP: Offers assistance to USDA organic producers and to producers wishing to transition their operation to obtain an organic certification.
- Seasonal High Tunnel EQIP: Offers assistance to install a seasonal high tunnel (hoop house) to extend seasonal crop production to strengthen local and regional food markets while reducing pesticide use and energy inputs.
- On-Farm Energy EQIP: Assists producers to conserve energy on their farms through an on-farm energy audit and provides assistance to implement various recommended measures identified in an energy audit.
- Sage Grouse Initiative EQIP: Focuses on making measurable and significant progress toward treating threats to rangeland health including sage grouse habitat on private lands.
- North Willamette Upland Oak Partnership: Provides assistance to private landowners to restore native oak habitats in Yamhill and Polk counties.
- Grande Ronde Watershed Conservation Partnership: Provides assistance to landowners in Union County in the Upper Grande Ronde Watershed to improve water quality and fish habitat, reduce soil erosion, and enhance rangeland/forest health.
- Alder Slope Cooperative Partnership: Provides assistance to landowners in Wallowa County along the Alder Slope area to improve irrigation efficiency and enhance forest health.
- Conservation of Soil Health in Wallowa County: Provides assistance to landowners in Wallowa County within the Zumwalt Prairie and Wallowa River Valley to enhance and protect healthy, productive soils.
- Salmon Super Highway Project: Provides assistance to private landowners in Tillamook County to improve fish habitat, water quality and forest health.
Additional EQIP sign-up deadlines will be announced in coming months for other funding opportunities, including locally-led Conservation Implementation Strategies throughout the state.
To learn more about EQIP funding opportunities in Oregon and for more information about program eligibility, visit the Oregon EQIP webpage.
Interested applicants can also contact their local USDA Service Center to inquire about EQIP opportunities in their county and to apply for assistance.