Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Subsidy Information for Sustainable Livestock Farmers

2014 Farm Bill Conservation Subsidies
After years of political wrangling, the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 7 on the campus of Michigan State University. The five-year, $956 billion bill includes $56 billion in funding for conservation programs, with $8.9 billion going to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  For an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill, visit: http://tinyurl.com/FBoverview 

To read the Farm Bill in its entirety:  http://tinyurl.com/actualfarmbill

What is EQIP The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a Farm Bill Conservation Program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns. It aims to deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, ground and surface water conservation, soil erosion and sedimentation reduction and wildlife habitat. http://tinyurl.com/EQIPoverview

Categories of EQIP practices eligible for funding in Michigan include:
Animal Waste
National Water Quality Initiative
Conservation Activity Plans
Organic Initiative
Energy American Indian Tribes
Locally-Led Conservation: MAEAP Water Quality Monitoring
Wayne County Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

For a list of specific practices and the funding available visit: http://tinyurl.com/MichiganEQIP

How to Apply for EQIP  If you’ve never applied for EQIP funds, you should know that you need to have an approved Conservation Action Plan before you’re eligible to apply for EQIP funds.  So, the first step is to apply for funds to develop the plan with an approved “technical service provider.”  The deadline for this application is usually early in the year. After you get the funds and the plan is approved, you’re free to apply for EQIP funds in the following year.  For details on the application process for EQIP, visit: http://tinyurl.com/EQIPsteps

Find your local NRCS field office:  http://tinyurl.com/NRCSofficelocator

For more info about Michigan’s EQIP program:
Steve Law, EQIP Coordinator; Phone:  (517) 324-5282; E-mail: steven.law@mi.usda.gov

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