The Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering financial and technical assistance to help agricultural producers apply conservation practices on their private land as well as their public land allotments.
Agricultural producers are encouraged to apply for funds available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Agricultural Management Assistance Program. Applications must be received before 4 p.m. Friday 2021 to be considered in the first batching period.
“High tunnels have been effective in Nevada to extend growing seasons and NRCS’ AMA program can help producers accomplish this,” said Mustapha Abouali, Nevada NRCS assistant state conservationist for programs. “The Lattins of Lattin Farms in Fallon are a great example. They have had a relationship with NRCS for decades, and by working together, they have improved their irrigation efficiency through EQIP and installed several high tunnels through AMA."
“We had been experimenting with high tunnels for some time and found that they extended our season, increased our yields, and let us sell crops that don’t do well outside due to our weather situations,” said Rick Lattin of Fallon.
Applications for EQIP and AMA are accepted year-round on a continuous basis with batching periods announced so that applications can be ranked and funded.
EQIP is a voluntary, financial and technical assistance program that provides funding to agricultural producers and non-industrial forest managers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved or created wildlife habitat, and mitigation against drought and increasing weather volatility.
2018 Farm Bill EQIP Updates
Historically underserved participants are eligible for advance payments to help offset costs related to purchasing materials or contracting services through EQIP. HU participants may elect to receive an advance of not less than 50 percent of the EQIP conservation practice payment amount. Participants who receive advance payment must expend the funds within 90 days of receiving the advance.
The 2018 Farm Bill expanded eligibility criteria to allow water management entities who assist private agricultural producers with managing water distribution or conservation systems to apply for EQIP. These entities are defined as state, irrigation district, ground water management district, acequia, land grant-merced, or similar entity that has jurisdiction or responsibilities related to water delivery or management to eligible lands.
AMA program funds can help producers use conservation to construct or improve watershed management structures or irrigation structures, install high tunnels, plant trees to form windbreaks or to improve water quality. AMA funding can also mitigate financial risk through production or marketing diversification, or the implementation of resource conservation practices including soil erosion control, integrated pest management or the transition to organic farming.
Persons or legal entities cannot receive more than $50,000 in AMA program payments per fiscal year. Participants are not subject to Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985. NRCS administers the AMA conservation provisions, while the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Risk Management Agency implement other provisions under AMA.
Applicants must meet USDA program eligibility requirements for land eligibility and person eligibility. Eligibility requirements include Adjusted Gross Income limitations for individuals and entities. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria to be considered for ranking and funding decisions.
Farm Bill programs have strict payment limits, and the amount of financial assistance producers may receive varies by program and will depend on future allocations received under the Farm Bill authority. Limited resource producers, beginning farmers and ranchers, or socially disadvantaged agricultural producers may be eligible for up to 15 percent higher payments, not to exceed 90 percent of the estimated cost to install the practice.
Watch the video on the NRCS Nevada YouTube channel to see how establishing a relationship with NRCS can benefit your farm or ranch, like the Lattins. To view Nevada payment schedules, visit: https://bit.ly/2K4PkRt. To learn more about EQIP, visit: https://bit.ly/3BSVTfP and to learn more about AMA, visit: https://bit.ly/2Xs5c7I, or contact your local NRCS office.