Farmers and landowners in Arkansas have until Nov. 17, 2017, to submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement conservation activities through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2018 program year. Applicants can sign up at their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field service center.


Individuals and other entities actively engaged in agricultural production are eligible to participate in EQIP. The EQIP deadline is for consideration in the local, state and initiative funding categories. EQIP offers a continuous application sign-up. However, to be considered for funding under the first batch period, sign-up applications must be received by Nov. 17.


Local, statewide & initiative funding: Local categories focus on the priority resource concerns in a localized area, as identified by the locally-led conservation workgroup representatives for each county or designated local area. Statewide categories address water quality issues related to animal manure management and sedimentation, soil quality, reduction of erosion, improved management of irrigation water and reduction in groundwater use, forest land enhancement, livestock management operations improvement, and improvement of wildlife habitat resource concerns.


Special initiative funding includes: Alternative Crops; Organic Transition and Organic Certified; Seasonal High Tunnel; On-Farm Energy Conservation; Illinois River; Forestry/Woodland Restoration; Wildlife Habitat Conservation; Strike Force (Identified High Poverty Counties); and Historically Underserved Categories (Beginning Farmers, Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, Limited Resource Farmers and Veteran Farmers).


All applications will be evaluated for funding based on a state and nationally developed procedure to optimize environmental benefits. Applications ranking highest in a funding category will be funded according to priority and is subject to availability of program funds.