NRCS

Indiana NRCS Announces EQIP Application Deadline

Indianapolis, IN, November 7, 2018– Indiana’s agricultural producers who want to improve natural resources and address resource concerns on their land are encouraged to sign up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Jerry Raynor, NRCS State Conservationist, announced that December 21, 2018 will be the EQIP application deadline in Indiana.

“While we take EQIP applications throughout the year, applications received after December 21 will be considered in future announced application rounds.  I encourage producers with resource concerns on their land to submit an application by the deadline,” Raynor explains.

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available for agricultural producers.  Through EQIP, NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices that reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, improve soil health, improve water and air quality, and create wildlife habitat.

Many applicants are interested in using funds to address soil erosion and water quality issues on their land; however, funds are also available for pasture and grazing land, confined livestock operations, organic producers, drainage water management, invasive plant control, and wildlife habitat improvement.  Also included in this sign up are several special initiatives including:

  • National Organic Initiative: NRCS provides financial payments and technical assistance to help producers implement conservation measures in keeping with organic production. Beginning, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged producers may obtain additional assistance.
  • National On-Farm Energy Initiative: NRCS provides agricultural producers with technical and financial assistance that quantifies how energy can be used more efficiently to reduce input costs, increase productivity and reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative only offers assistance for 128 Conservation Activity Plans-Ag Energy Management Plans (AgEMPs) and certain energy conservation practices.
  • Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Initiative (EQIP): The Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project is a multi-state effort focused on increasing monarch habitat on private lands through plantings of milkweed and nectar producing forbs as well as managing pesticide use in proximity to monarch habitat.
  • Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative 2.0 (EQIP): One goal of this initiative is to convert tall fescue and other non-native forages to native grasses and forbs and develop prescribed grazing plans to address the habitat needs of bobwhite quail and other grassland/shrub land species. This category is available statewide on land which overlaps one of the Indiana DNR C.O.R.R.I.D.O.R.S. priority areas.  Another goal of this initiative is to develop and enhance habitat for the Blanding’s Turtle.
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI): NRCS and partners work with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability in the Great Lakes.
  • Resource Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects: RCPP promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and through the following program contracts or easement agreements.
  • Grasslands for Gamebirds and Songbirds (Benton, Clay, Daviess, Dekalb, Fountain, Gibson, Greene, Jackson, jasper, Jennings, Lagrange, newton, Noble, Pike, Ripley, Scott, Spencer, Steuben, Sullivan, Warrick, White Counties)
  • Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative (Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Noble, Steuben and Wells Counties)
  • Southern Indiana Young Forest Initiative
  • Big Pine Watershed Partnership (Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe Counties)
  • Indiana Watershed Initiative: The University of Notre Dame (Kosciusko, Newton, Jasper and Benton Counties)
  • Soil Health on Reclaimed Mine Lands (Vigo, Clay, Sullivan, Greene, Knox, Daviess, Gibson, Pike, Dubois, Warrick and Spencer Counties)
  • Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies Partnership (statewide)

“Special initiatives target EQIP funds to geographical areas where there is a critical resource need allowing applicants to have a greater chance of getting funded,” said Raynor.  “Applications will go in a targeted pool of funding instead of the general EQIP.”

In addition, EQIP offers financial assistance for payment of practices and conservation activities involving the development of plans appropriate for the eligible land.  The conservation practice associated with plan development is known as a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP).  EQIP applications for CAP are not required to be submitted by December 21; they may be submitted, accepted and considered for funding at any time.

Producers interested in EQIP should submit a signed application to the local NRCS field office.  Applications submitted by the December 21st deadline will be evaluated for the funding period submitted.  Participants in EQIP must meet eligibility requirements.  NRCS staff will work with producers to determine eligibility and complete necessary worksheets and rankings in order for the applicant to compete for funding.  Applicants must meet EQIP participant eligibility requirements by February 1, 2019 for an application submitted by December 21, 2018.

For more information about EQIP and other technical and financial assistance available through Indiana NRCS conservation programs, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/programs/financial/eqip/ or contact your county’s District Conservationist http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/contact/local/.

Contacts: 

Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist, 317-295-5801 (jerry.raynor@in.usda.gov)

Gerald Roach, ASTC Farm Bill Programs, 317-285-5820 (jerry.roach@in.usda.gov)

Becky Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317-295-5825 (rebecca.fletcher@in.usda.gov)

 

Indiana NRCS Accepting Applications for Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Indianapolis, IN, October 4, 2018–Indiana’s agricultural producers who want to improve natural resources and address concerns on their land are encouraged to apply for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Jerry Raynor, NRCS State Conservationist, announced that while the future of the Farm Bill is uncertain, Indiana NRCS is still accepting applications for future funding rounds.

“We still don’t have a definitive word on Farm Bill funding, but we don’t want that to discourage our farmers and forestland owners from taking action.  NRCS accepts EQIP applications throughout the year. I encourage producers with resource concerns on their land to submit an application in preparation for future deadlines,” Raynor explains.

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program available for agricultural producers.  Through EQIP, NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices that reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, improve soil health, improve water and air quality, and create wildlife habitat.

Many applicants are interested in using funds to address soil erosion and water quality issues on their land; however, funds are also available for pasture and grazing land, confined livestock operations, organic producers, high tunnels, drainage water management, invasive plant control, and wildlife habitat improvement.  Also included are several state and national initiatives that utilize EQIP funding including:

  • National Organic Initiative: NRCS provides financial payments and technical assistance to help producers implement conservation measures in keeping with organic production. Beginning, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged producers may obtain additional assistance.
  • National On-Farm Energy Initiative: NRCS provides agricultural producers with technical and financial assistance that quantifies how energy can be used more efficiently to reduce input costs, increase productivity and reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative only offers assistance for 128 Conservation Activity Plans-Ag Energy Management Plans (AgEMPs) and certain energy conservation practices.
  • Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Initiative (EQIP): The Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project is a multi-state effort focused on increasing monarch habitat on private lands through plantings of milkweed and nectar producing forbs as well as managing pesticide use in proximity to monarch habitat.
  • Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative 2.0 (EQIP): One goal of this initiative is to convert tall fescue and other non-native forages to native grasses and forbs and develop prescribed grazing plans to address the habitat needs of bobwhite quail and other grassland/shrub land species. This category is available statewide on land which overlaps one of the Indiana DNR C.O.R.R.I.D.O.R.S. priority areas. Another goal of this initiative is to develop and enhance habitat for the Blanding’s Turtle.
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI): NRCS and partners work with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability in the Great Lakes.
  • Resource Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects: RCPP promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and through the following program contracts or easement agreements.
  • Grasslands for Gamebirds and Songbirds (Benton, Clay, Daviess, Dekalb, Fountain, Gibson, Greene, Jackson, jasper, Jennings, Lagrange, newton, Noble, Pike, Ripley, Scott, Spencer, Steuben, Sullivan, Warrick, White Counties)
  • Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative (Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Noble, Steuben and Wells Counties)
  • Southern Indiana Young Forest Initiative
  • Big Pine Watershed Partnership (Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe Counties)
  • The Michigan/Indiana St. Joseph River Conservation Partnership (Elkhart, LaGrange, Steuben, Noble, Kosciusko, DeKalb and St. Joseph Counties)
  • Indiana Watershed Initiative: The University of Notre Dame (Kosciusko, Newton, Jasper and Benton Counties)
  • Soil Health on Reclaimed Mine Lands (Vigo, Clay, Sullivan, Greene, Knox, Daviess, Gibson, Pike, Dubois, Warrick and Spencer Counties)
  • Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies Partnership (statewide)

“Targeted projects allow us to address specific natural resource concerns and provide a less competitive option for producers in these areas.  Applicants don’t have to compete with all of the statewide EQIP applications for these projects, just those applying for each specific Initiative,” said Raynor.

Due to the uncertainty of the Farm Bill, there are limited EQIP initiatives that will be announcing application deadlines.  Producers interested in future funding rounds of EQIP are encouraged to apply at their local NRCS field office.  Participants must meet EQIP eligibility requirements.  NRCS staff will work with producers to determine eligibility and complete necessary worksheets and rankings for the applicant to compete for funding.

For more information about EQIP and other technical and financial assistance available through Indiana NRCS conservation programs, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/programs/financial/eqip/ or contact your county’s District Conservationist http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/contact/local/.

Contacts: 

Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist, 317-295-5801 (jerry.raynor@in.usda.gov)

Gerald Roach, ASTC Farm Bill Programs, 317-285-5820 (jerry.roach@in.usda.gov)

Becky Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317-295-5825 (rebecca.fletcher@in.usda.gov)

Indiana NRCS Announces EQIP Application Deadline for Two Initiatives

Indianapolis, IN, October 4, 2018–Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today that NRCS is accepting producer applications for Conservation Activity Plans and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program’s Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction initiative.  The application deadline is November 16, 2018.

“Both of these conservation projects are vital for conserving and protecting our natural resources here in Indiana,” said Raynor.  “They address critical resource concerns that will impact the health of Indiana’s waterbodies.”

  • Resource Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative: This project promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners located within the Western Lake Erie basin.  It is a diverse team of partners that use a targeted approach to identify high-priority sub-watersheds for phosphorus reduction and increase farmer access to public and private technical assistance.  This initiative is located in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Noble, Steuben and Wells Counties.  Funding for this RCPP project comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
  • Conservation Activity Plans (CAP): EQIP offers financial assistance for payment of practices and conservation activities involving the development of plans appropriate for the eligible land. A CAP is the conservation practice associated with the development of a plan by a certified technical service provider. CAPs are a tool to help producers make decisions on which conservation measures they want to implement. Examples of CAPs include Forest Management Plans, Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP), Nutrient Management Plans, Integrated Pest Management Plans, Fish and Wildlife Habitat Plans, Organic Transition Conservation Plans, and Agriculture Energy Management Plans, and Drainage Water Management Plans.

Through these two special initiatives, NRCS and its partners can effectively coordinate the delivery of assistance where it will have the most impact, accelerating the benefits of voluntary conservation programs, such as cleaner water and air, healthier soil and enhanced wildlife habitat.  These projects will assist agricultural producers in improving the environment while maintaining productive land.

Producers interested in either of these initiatives should submit a signed application to their local NRCS field office.  Applications submitted by the November 16 deadline will be evaluated for this funding period.  Participants in EQIP must meet eligibility requirements.  NRCS staff will work with producers to determine eligibility and complete necessary worksheets and rankings for the applicant to compete for funding.

For more information about EQIP and other technical and financial assistance available through Indiana NRCS conservation programs, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/programs/financial/eqip/ or contact your county’s District Conservationist http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/contact/local/.

Contacts: 

Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist, 317-295-5801 (jerry.raynor@in.usda.gov)

Gerald Roach, ASTC Farm Bill Programs, 317-285-5820 (jerry.roach@in.usda.gov)

Becky Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317-295-5825 (rebecca.fletcher@in.usda.gov)

 

New Indiana State Conservationist Announced

 Indianapolis, IN, July 25, 2018 ‒ The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Indiana welcomes new state conservationist, Jerry Raynor.  Jerry will oversee 80 local service centers, four area offices, and eight conservation delivery teams across the state and over 200  employees who work directly with farmers and landowners.

Jerry is a native of North Carolina and has spent a majority of his 26-year career as part of the conservation partnership there.  Jerry began his career with NRCS as a student trainee and he spent most of his early years in field and area office conservationist positions.  Jerry also worked for Johnston County Soil and Water Conservation District and the North Carolina State Department of Environment. In 2012, he was selected to serve as the state resource conservationist and acting director National Plant Materials Center in Maryland.  In 2013, he returned to North Carolina as assistant state conservationist for operations, later transitioning to assistant state conservationist for management and strategy.  Jerry has also served on several detail positions at the national level, most recently as the acting state conservationist in Idaho.

“I am honored to be the new state conservationist in Indiana,” said Raynor.  “I look forward to meeting and working with our customers, partners and staff in this position to learn about the many great things Indiana is already doing to help conserve natural resources and to continue to move the state forward in agricultural conservation.”

Jerry comes to his position with proven agricultural and leadership qualities.  He was raised on a farm in Sampson County, North Carolina by his parents, Louis and Katie.  After high school, he attended North Carolina State University – College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and graduated with a degree in Agriculture Business Management.  Jerry also is a graduate from George Washington University’s Emerging Leadership Development Program; a two-year program hosted in partnership with NRCS.

Jerry has four sisters and currently resides in Indianapolis with his wife Amanda and daughter Amaris.

Indiana NRCS is pleased to welcome Jerry to lead the agency and believes he will bring fresh ideas to the state’s conservation partnership.

Contacts:

Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist, 317-295-5801 (jerry.raynor@in.usda.gov)

Becky Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317-295-5825 (rebecca.fletcher@in.usda.gov)

 

The 2014 Farm Bill was enacted on February 7, 2014. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers voluntary Farm Bill conservation programs that benefit both agricultural producers and the environment.

Other helpful information can be found at the Farm Service Agency.