A recent email from the University of Georgia’s Striping Irrigation Research Park reminded growers that the deadline to apply for 2015 EQIP funding in Georgia is Dec. 19.
This notice struck me in two ways.
1. Even if you don’t live in Georgia, your EQIP deadline may be approaching. Most of you are probably familiar with the program, but for those who aren’t:
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat. These contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) also helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance—the higher the performance, the higher the payment.
If you are making significant irrigation improvements to you operation, check with your state NRCS office to see if you are eligible for these programs. You can find your state’s EQIP page here, and it includes application ranking criteria, priority resource concerns, lists of eligible practices, payment rates, information about where you can submit applications, eligibility requirements and other program requirements.
2. My second thought was that I really get a lot of valuable information from Stripling Irrigation Research Park. Do other people realize how much this organization has to offer? I strongly recommend you check out the website, follow the SIRP Twitter feed and peruse its monthly newsletters, which include articles and a roundup of recent irrigation news stories.