The federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) helps producers adopt and maintain sustainable practices on their land to improve soil health, water quality, and biodiversity. Over 13 million acres are currently enrolled in EQIP, through which farmers and ranchers receive support for actively managing new and ongoing regenerative conservation practices on their land.
Congress wrote the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes EQIP, but USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) writes the rules and details to implement the program. It is vitally important that those rules and details reflect Congressional intent and the needs of farmers.
NRCS is now accepting public comments on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Interim Final Rule through February 18, 2020. After it reviews and takes into consideration public comments, NRCS will develop a permanent final rule that will govern the program for years to come. This is the public’s one chance to weigh in. NRCS needs to hear from you and other farmers and concerned citizens!
NRCS will only accept comments submitted online. You can use the sample materials below to get started! It is important to personalize your comment – NRCS will read every single submission, and unique comments have the most impact.
Step 1 – Get informed – visit the EQIP Comment Center to learn what may change about EQIP under the new rules, how these changes could impact farmers, where NRCS could be doing more to help EQIP reach its full potential, and why this matters for everyone.
Step 2 – Customize this draft comment letter for yourself! There are guiding questions to help you tell your story effectively to NRCS.
Step 3 – Submit your comment online at http://bit.ly/eqiprule20