Edwin Almodovar, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Caribbean Area director, has announced early sign-up for fiscal year 2019 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding for additional disaster relief to help Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands farmers repair and rebuild following hurricanes Irma and María.
EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to help them install and implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land.
Through EQIP, NRCS helps farmers to improve their agricultural production and environmental quality. For this year, NRCS has added three new emergency conservation practices to its early Disaster Relief Signup, in addition to the five emergency practices from last year:
Fencing (Practice 382)
Roof Runoff Structure (Practice 558)
Heavy Use Area Protection (Practice 561)
Dead livestock disposal (Practice 368)
Animal mortality facility construction (Practice 316)
Roofs and covers (for agricultural buildings, Practice 367)
Clearing and snagging waterways (Practice 326)
Debris removal (Practice 500)
EQIP applications are accepted year-round, but NRCS sets application submission deadlines to evaluate, rank and approve eligible applications. This year’s cut-off dates are:
EQIP Disaster Relief Period 1: Nov. 16, 2018
General EQIP Period 1: Nov. 16, 2018
Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership Initiative: Dec. 21.