EQIP, CSP renewal application deadlines fast approaching 

Farmers and ranchers interested in expanding conservation on their operations should be aware of two quickly approaching deadlines. New applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and renewals for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) are due soon. See below for your state’s deadlines. 

EQIP 2020 deadlines for select Midwestern states: 

  • Kansas: March 3 
  • Minnesota: March 13 
  • Nebraska: March 13 
  • Iowa: March 20
  • South Dakota: March 20 
  • North Dakota: March 27 

Interested in applying for EQIP or renewing CSP? Contact your local NRCS office as soon as possible. 

EQIP

Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), EQIP is a working lands conservation program that offers producers financial and technical assistance for a variety of conservation practices. The program is one of the nation’s most popular working lands conservation programs and thousands of farmers and ranchers enroll in it each year.

To apply for EQIP, farmers and ranchers work with local NRCS office staff to develop a conservation plan for their operations. This can include cropping plans and grazing management plans. Then, if an EQIP application is accepted by NRCS, the farmer or rancher implements the proposed conservation practices.

One conservation practice that EQIP supports is cover crops. Among their many benefits, cover crops can help build soil health and prevent erosion. EQIP also supports a variety of grazing practices, such as watering facilities and prescribed grazing.

The 2018 farm bill made several changes to EQIP, which NRCS is in the process of rolling out. One change notable for beginning producers is that beginning farmers and ranchers are eligible to receive a portion of their cost-share payments at the start of their contract, instead of after the work is completed. This should assist these producers with cash flow management when enrolling in EQIP.

CSP renewal

Applications deadlines for new CSP contracts are still being announced, and will likely fall around late May for your state. 

For those with expiring CSP contracts, CSP renewal applications are due March 20 for Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Kansas. We will be posting more information about new CSP applications as the deadlines become available. 

If you have any questions about CSP or EQIP, feel free to email us at annaj@cfra.org, kateh@cfra.org or call us at 515.215.1294.