SIDNEY — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for Environmental Quality Incentives Program – Inflation Reduction Act (EQIP-IRA) funding. These funds expand financial and technical assistance to landowners and producers advancing conservation practices targeting climate mitigation on their land. Applications must be received by April 23, 2023, to be eligible for Fiscal Year 2023 funding.
Nationally, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides an additional $19.5 billion over five years for climate smart agriculture through several of the conservation programs that NRCS implements. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program is NRCS’ flagship conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands. In Ohio, an additional $3.3 million in financial assistance has been made available to Ohio landowners through EQIP-IRA in Fiscal Year 2023.
EQIP-IRA is designed to help farmers and private landowners apply conservation measures that focus on carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and soil health. The program focuses strongly on conservation planning, conservation implementation, and solving natural resource concerns related to climate change. Conservation practices are limited to the following:
• Cropland: This category addresses natural resource concerns on cropland and adjacent incidental areas. Click here for the FY23 EQIP-IRA Crop Practice List.
• Grazing: This category assists producers that have a pasture operation to address natural resource concerns related to the growing, raising, or reproducing of livestock. Click here for the FY23 EQIP-IRA Grazing Practice List.
• Historically Underserved: This fund category is for applicants meeting the definition of Beginning Farmer/Rancher or Veteran Farmer/Ranchers who also meet the Beginning Farmer/Rancher definition. This category also assists limited resource producers and socially disadvantaged producers address resource concerns. Click here for the FY23 EQIP-IRA Historically Underserved Practice List.
Ohio will use the ACT NOW process in Fiscal Year 2023 for EQIP-IRA to immediately approve and obligate a ranked application in a designated ranking pool when the eligible application meets or exceeds a state-determined minimum ranking score without waiting until the NRCS field office ranks all applications in that ranking pool. Learn more about ACT NOW thresholds as well as other program information on the Ohio NRCS EQIP website. To find out about other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or contact the Shelby County USDA Service Center at 937-492-6520 ext. 3 or email Justin.Wagner@usda.gov.