In Vermont sign up deadline for all 2021 EQIP contracts is March 19, 2021.
You can still sign up for EQIP after that, but you will be considered for next year.
VT Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced a top ten “high-priority” list of Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) practices. The state chose these practices to motivate producers to implement important practices that address critical resource issues but that are not as widely adopted. This is part of the 2018 Farm Bill – states were allowed as of 2020 to provide increased payment rates for up to 10 high-priority practices. These practices will be incentivized at a 90% cost payment rate. In consultation with each state’s Technical Committee, the State Conservationists designates their state’s priorities.
In Vermont, the ten priorities are: Contour Buffer Strips (332), Cover Crop – multi-species only (340), Residue & Tillage Management – reduced-tillage (345), riparian forest buffer (391), Pasture and Hay Planting (seeding down continuous corn) (512), Open Channel (582), Stripcropping (585), Nutrient Management (manure injection only) (590), Tree / Shrub Establishment (612), Phosphorus Removal System (782).
Some of these practices are probably more familiar to our audience than others, like reduced tillage. Other practices like stripcropping offer soil conservation benefits particularly on steep slopes, but are not commonly seen in our area. Open Channel refers to a two-stage ditch, and Phosphorus (P) Removal System is the installation of an end-of-pipe filter system to mitigate P losses in tile drains.
If you are interested in signing up for one of these practices, call your local NRCS office, in Middlebury – 802-388-6748. You can also call our office – 802-388-4969, if you’d like to discuss how we might assist you in getting a project implemented. NRCS accepts applications on a rolling applications but processes them in batches, sign up deadline for 2021 practices is 3/19/21.