OWENSVILLE, Ohio (March 10, 2015) — Ohio farmers have until March 20, 2015, to apply for financial assistance to improve natural resources on their land, through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). “EQIP has been widely used in Ohio to improve natural resource concerns on cropland, pastureland, and forested land,” states Lori Lenhart, District Conservationist with Ohio NRCS.
Seasonal high tunnels (photo, above) are another conservation practice available to farmers state-wide. Increasingly popular with specialty crop growers, these structures and the management practices used to grow crops in them can improve soil health, improve irrigation efficiency, and help control pests. “From a production standpoint, seasonal high tunnels allow for planting earlier in the spring and harvesting later in the fall,” says Lenhart.
Organic farmers or farmers interested in transitioning into organic production can also apply for EQIP regardless of the farm location. While organic farmers can also apply for other EQIP funding, the probability of receiving funding increases because only organic farmers compete for these funds. All applications for EQIP are ranked for their environmental benefit; those providing the most benefit receive the highest priority for funding.
All Ohio farmers can apply for assistance to fund energy conserving practices on the farm. Using more energy-efficient fixtures and equipment for animal housing or reducing fuel consumption through precision agriculture not only saves natural resources, but can also result in significant cost savings for the farmer.
Applications for EQIP submitted by entities, such as farmers applying as a corporation, must have a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number and an active SAM (System for Award Management) registration status when applying, a process that may take several weeks. Applications cannot be processed without this information. Information on obtaining a DUNS number and registering with SAM is posted at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill.
For more information about EQIP or other technical or financial assistance programs offered by NRCS, please contact your local service center: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?agency=nrcs. For Clermont County contact Lori Lenhart at 513-732-2181 x3, and for Brown County, contact Larry Whitaker or Tara Fisher at 937-378-4424 x 3.
– See more at: http://www.clermontcountyohio.gov/Farmers_March+2015.aspx#sthash.gxv7AbrQ.dpuf