USDA NRCS expands resources for climate-smart farmers in Texas
January 24, 2022 by USDA NRCS, Texas
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is announcing first-round funding signup for Conservation Incentive Contracts (CIC), a new option available through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP).
EQIP-CIC expands resource beneﬁts for Texas producers through incentive conservation practices such as wildlife management, cover crops, nutrient management, conservation crop rotations, and prescribed grazing. Additionally, EQIP-CIC allows producers to target priority resource concerns on their property by offering incentive payments for a five-year contract without needing to enroll the entire operation into the program. EQIP-CIC is designed to be a stepping-stone between EQIP and the Conservation Stewardship Program, to help producers improve their level of conservation and earn benefits of longer-term conservation enhancements.
“We have to continue to support and expand the adoption of conservation approaches to support producers in their work to participate in climate-smart agriculture practices and build more resilient operations,” said NRCS Texas State Conservationist Kristy Oates. “We are continuously working to improve our programs to ensure we’re giving Texas farmers and ranchers the best tools to conserve natural resources.”
Texas NRCS will offer funding through two separate initiatives. A Piney Woods Restoration Initiative is available for applicants in East Texas to help restore declining Piney Woods Habitat. A Climate Smart Agriculture and Wildlife Initiative available statewide prioritizing applications that address wildlife habitat and climate smart agriculture practices as well as addressing resource concerns on expired Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands. Individuals interested in applying for the EQIP-CIC should contact their local NRCS conservationist as soon as possible. Be sure to check the status of your Service Center when you reach out to us.
While applications for EQIP are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by Feb 25, 2022, to be considered for the 2022 ranking funding period. Visit Texas NRCS website under “Financial Assistance/EQIP” for more details. To learn more about EQIP or other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or contact your local USDA Service Center.