USDA announces second conservation program signup for Rhode Island farmers and forest landowners; NRCS funding helps forest, farm landowners make conservation improvements on their land that benefit natural resources, build climate resiliency

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

January 29, 2024 (press release) –

Apply by March 15, 2024, for this second round of conservation funding

NRCS announces additional financial assistance opportunities for fiscal year 2024 for Rhode Island farmers and forest landowners. Through conservation programs, NRCS helps farmers and forest landowners make conservation improvements on their land that benefit natural resources and build resiliency.

NRCS is opening a second ranking signup period for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) climate-smart agriculture and forestry funding under the Conservation Stewardship (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) programs, as well as General Farm Bill program funding under the EQIPCSPNational Water Quality Incentives (NWQI)Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) and Regional Conservation Partnership (RCPP) programs.

While NRCS accepts applications for these programs year-round, producers and landowners should apply by the following state-specific ranking dates to be considered for this year’s additional ranking opportunity.

Program ranking dates:

“NRCS conservation programs are good for Rhode Island’s natural resources and for your operation’s bottom line,” said Phou Vongkhamdy, NRCS State Conservationist in Rhode Island. “Whether this is your first time working with NRCS or you want to take conservation to the next level on your land, we encourage you to contact your local NRCS field office to learn more.”

Historically underserved farmer benefits

Special provisions are available for historically underserved farmers (beginning, socially disadvantaged or limited resource farmers). Historically underserved farmers can receive higher payment rates (up to 90 percent of average cost). NRCS sets aside CSP funds for historically underserved farmers.

Conservation practices and climate

NRCS conservation programs play a critical role in USDA’s commitment to partnering with farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and local communities to deliver climate solutions that strengthen agricultural operations and rural America. Rhode Island NRCS is prioritizing a variety of voluntary conservation practices through these NRCS programs, including those that support climate-smart agriculture and forestry (CSAF).

Applying for assistance

Funding is provided through a competitive process. NRCS accepts applications for its conservation programs year-round. NRCS sets state-specific ranking dates to evaluate applications for funding. These dates account for farmer needs, staff workload and ensure potential participants have ample opportunity to apply. Farmers should apply by the March 15, 2024, ranking date to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Applications received after ranking dates will be automatically deferred to the next funding period.

Call NRCS Rhode Island today to see how we can help you help your land!

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