An interim final rule outlining changes in the Environmental Qualities Incentives Program was published in the Federal Register on Thursday. USDA is accepting comments on the rule regarding largest conservation program for working agricultural lands through March 16, 2009.
Under the amended EQIP, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers as well as beginning and limited resource producers are authorized to receive payments of up to 90% of the costs of installing or implementing a conservation practice. These producers also can receive advance payments of up to 30% of the anticipated costs incurred to purchase materials or to contract services to implement a conservation practice.
USDA will use the submitted comments to write a final rule that will establish policy for the program throughout the life of the 2008 Farm Bill.
For additional information about EQIP, please visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/EQIP/.