New Western Lake Erie Basin Initiative with the NRCS -April 29th deadline
April 17, 2016
USDA Taking Applications New Western Lake Erie Basin Initiative
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced a new 3-year initiative this week to provide accelerated conservation assistance for agricultural producers in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) which includes land in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) will be used to fund applications. The deadline for submitting WLEB Initiative applications is April 29, 2016.
Together with the projected $36 million in NRCS State EQIP allocations, the WLEB Initiative brings an additional $41 million to the WLEB for a total of $77 million in financial assistance available in the WLEB. These funds will be available for the 3-year period of fiscal years 2016-2018.
In the WLEB Initiative, targeting funds to obtain the greatest environmental benefits will happen in two ways – targeting locales within the basin and giving higher priority to applications containing the most effective systems of conservation practices to address water quality concerns. Applications with 100 percent of the land located within the western basin that contain soils with a high risk for leaching or surface run-off, land with high soil test phosphorus levels, and land with direct drainage to tributaries in the basin will receive priority over applications that do not address these conditions.
USDA Service Center locations are listed online or in the phone book under Federal Government, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Applications for EQIP submitted by entities, such as farmers applying as a corporation, must register with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), a process that can take up to 3 weeks. Information about CCR requirements, including obtaining a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number, is posted on the NRCS website at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/