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The Natural Resource Conservation Agency (NRCS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, provides technical assistance to Districts in order to help us implement our conservation programs. In 1993, NRCS expanded its focus on natural resource problems to include not only soil issues, but water quality, wetlands, and wildlife habitat.
NRCS's Web Soil Survey
NRCS's Conservation Programs
United States Department of Agriculture
Conservation Reserve Program (Continuous and Standard)
The CRP is a voluntary program that offers annual rental payments, incentive payments for certain activities, and cost-share assistance to establish approved cover on eligible cropland.
The program encourages farmers to plant long-term resource-conserving covers to improve soil, water, and wildlife resources. Assistance is available in an amount equal to not more than 50 percent of the participant's costs in establishing approved practices. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
Since its inception in 1996, EQIP has been NRCS' leading cost-share program for implementing conservation practices. EQIP, through 2-10 year contracts, can provide up to 75% in cost-sharing assistance to producers to implement conservation practices as part of a tract based total resource management system.
Examples of practices installed with EQIP funding include: grassed waterways, field borders, and livestock watering systems.
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for people who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private land. Through WHIP USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service provides both technical assistance and up to 75 percent cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat. WHIP agreements between NRCS and the participant generally last from 5 to 10 years from the date the agreement is signed. WHIP has proven to be a highly effective and widely accepted program across the country. By targeting wildlife habitat projects on all lands and aquatic areas, WHIP provides assistance to conservation minded landowners who are unable to meet the specific eligibility requirements of other USDA conservation programs.
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
This program strives to restore and protect wetlands and riparian areas for wildlife. Landowners have the option of setting up permanent easements, 30 year easements, or restoration cost share agreements. This program offers landowners an opportunity to, establish, at minimum cost, long-term conservation and willdife habitat enhancement practices and protection.