USDA Encourages Farmers to Apply for Conservation Assistance

Delaware agricultural producers are encouraged to apply for technical and financial assistance to improve and enhance natural resources on their farm and forest land. Funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The first application cutoff date for fiscal year 2019 is October 19, 2018 for both EQIP and AMA.

Assistance is available through EQIP and AMA to help farmers plan and implement conservation practices to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forest land. Popular practices include waste storage structures, heavy use area pads, energy, cover crops, irrigation water management, poultry windbreaks and more.

NRCS conservationists will work with producers to develop a conservation plan on their land to identify concerns and opportunities, help determine objectives and recommend solutions. “Our high-quality comprehensive conservation plans can provide farmers with step-by-step recommendations they can use to improve their water quality, soil health and more — all while reducing input costs,” said Kasey Taylor, Delaware NRCS State Conservationist.

In FY 2018, Delaware approved a combined 187 EQIP and AMA contracts covering 36,853 acres for a total of $6.6 million.

NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines. Delaware producers with applications in before October 19 will have a higher chance of application approval as funding is limited. Additional application cutoff dates are scheduled for the third Friday of each month until May 17, 2019.

To be eligible for program assistance, producers must have an eligible resource concern on their operation at the time of application.

To apply for financial assistance, contact your local USDA Service Center. In Sussex County, call 302-856-3990, ext. 3; in Kent County, call 302-741-2600, ext. 3; and in New Castle County, call 302-832-3100, ext. 3. Additional information on NRCS programs and services is available on the Delaware NRCS Web site at

Delaware NRCS works with Delaware Conservation Districts in a partnership effort to address natural resource concerns on privately-owned agricultural and forest lands.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.