The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging all Delaware agricultural producers to apply today for assistance to improve the health and productivity of their agricultural land through climate-smart conservation practices.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides additional assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for practices and activities that directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon sequestration.
“Through the Inflation Reduction Act, NRCS is expanding access to financial and technical assistance for producers to advance conservation on their farms,” NRCS State Conservationist Kasey Taylor said. “The practices and activities we are offering not only work to mitigate the effects of climate change, but create value and economic opportunities for Delaware’s producers.”
Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry (CSAF) conservation practices and activities include cover cropping, conservation tillage, wetland restoration, prescribed grazing, nutrient management, tree planting and more. These practices and activities directly improve soil carbon, reduce nitrogen losses, or reduce, capture, avoid, or sequester carbon dioxide, methane, or nitrous oxide emissions associated with agricultural production.
While NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance programs year-round, interested applicants in Delaware should apply no later than March 17, 2023 for EQIP and March 24, 2023 for CSP to ensure consideration for fiscal year 2023 funding. Funding is provided through a competitive process.
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 website at www.de.nrcs.usda.gov.