The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) applications for financial assistance to assist producers with Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) development by a Technical Service Provider (TSP) on their operations.

A CAP can be developed for producers to identify conservation practices needed to address a specific natural resource need. Typically, these plans are specific to certain kinds of land use such as transitioning to organic operations, grazing land, forest land, or can also address a specific resource need such a plan for management of nutrients or to address an integrated pest management concern like herbicide resistant weeds. With a CAP plan, producers can then apply for financial assistance to implement the needed conservation practices.

Information about CAP services from a TSP, including how to find a certified TSP in Arkansas and the requirements to become a certified TSP, can be found on the NRCS national TSP website.

Applications for EQIP are accepted on a continuous basis. However, NRCS establishes application “cut-off” or submission deadline dates for evaluation and ranking of eligible applications.

Applications competing for CAP funding must be eligible, evaluated and ranked by Feb. 15, 2013. Funding selections of eligible applications will be completed by Feb. 20, 2013, and obligations must be finalized no later than April 1, 2013. Applications not received by Jan. 18, 2013, will not be considered for the 2013 ranking period.

To apply for assistance, visit your local USDA/NRCS field service center. To locate the local office, see here. For more information about NRCS programs in Arkansas, visit http://www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/.