After water efficiency, the most common question about new irrigation technology is related to cost and financing. Marcos Perez, an engineer with the Natural Resources ConservationService (NRCS), recently discussed finances opportunities for center pivot irrigation equipment through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
“To qualify for financing, an applicant must be engaged in agricultural production, forestry management, or have an interest in the associated operation,” Perez said. “In addition toapplicant eligibility, the land represented in the application must be agricultural, non-industrial private forestland, or other land on which agricultural products, livestock, or forest-related products are produced.”
Available EQIP financing varies by year. In 2013, a center pivot longer than 600 feet could have been financed at $35.31 per linear foot, while a span less than 600 feet would have been financed at $29.47 per linear foot.
Local NRCS offices are now accepting applications for 2014 EQIP funding.
While funding is not guaranteed, applications are prioritized by the value and environmental benefit expected from the improvement, Perez says. For example, applicants looking to improve or even install center pivot irrigation equipment might want to highlight how the purchase would improve irrigation water management, such as reducing water use by transitioning from a flood to center pivot irrigation operation.
To learn more about EQUIP, check out these resources:
- NRCS offers Five Steps to Assistance, which includes a video offering step-by-step guidance.
- The national EQIP site provides an outline of information and state application information.
- And, of course, you can always contact Valley Irrigation or your local Valley dealer for more information and assistance.
A portion of this content was published in PivotPoint - The California Grower, 2013