November deadline for popular USDA conservation program


USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced recently that the application deadline for early obligation fund pools within the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in Washington state.
The early obligation EQIP funding pools include EQIP national initiatives such as organic, high tunnel, conservation activity plans, wildfire recovery and sage grouse initiatives. For more information about these initiatives, please refer to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website at

Certain RCPP fund pools are also eligible for the early obligation.  These RCPP projects are: Yakama Nation On-Reservation Lower Yakima Basin Restoration Project, lead partner – Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation; Confederated Tribes of Colville Reservation, lead partner – Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation; Precision Conservation for Salmon and Water Quality in the Puget Sound, lead partner – Washington State Conservation Commission; Upper Columbia Irrigation Enhancement Project, lead partner – Trout Unlimited; WRIA 1 Salmon Recovery and Water Quality, lead partner –  Whatcom Conservation District; Puyallup Watershed Partnership, lead partner – Pierce Conservation District. For more information about these RCPP project areas, please contact the listed lead conservation partner or NRCS.

Although applications are accepted on a year-round basis and other EQIP signup periods will be announced in 2019, eligible producers and entities interested in the early obligation for fiscal year 2019 need to submit their application and meet eligibility requirements for consideration by the cut-off date of Nov. 2, 2018. According to Acting Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, Keith Griswold, “…while EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous signup basis, if you are interested in applying for 2019 early obligation funding, you must submit your application and meet eligibility requirements at your local USDA-NRCS service center by Nov. 2, 2018.  Other EQIP signup periods will be announced later.”

EQIP is a voluntary, technical and financial assistance program designed to help farmers, ranchers, private forestland owners, tribes and other private landowners/managers improve irrigation efficiency; manage nutrient run-off and/or animal waste; improve the health of native plant communities; and reduce soil loss. In most instances, program participants pay for roughly half of the costs of the conservation measures or practices. Each applicant must establish themselves as a USDA customer and complete all Farm Service Agency (FSA) eligibility requirements prior to the application cut-off date.
Applicants who are interested in applying for early obligation fiscal year 2019 funding should contact the local NRCS field office or listed RCPP lead partner.  NRCS office sites can be located through the web site at
To learn about technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit or local USDA service center.