Deadline approaching for Natural Resource Conservation Funds

Deadline approaching for Natural Resource Conservation Funds

Saturday, October 7, 2023

LINCOLN — Farmers and ranchers interested in preventing erosion, improving soil health, conserving water and wildlife or making other natural resource conservation improvements to their property may apply for funding available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Those interested in receiving funding this year should sign up before Friday, Nov. 17. NRCS accepts conservation program applications on a continuous basis but sets application cutoff dates as funding allows.

According to Rob Lawson, NRCS Nebraska state conservationist, several options are still available to producers for this year.

“NRCS has a whole suite of conservation programs available to Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers looking for assistance in improving and protecting the natural resources on their ag land. These programs provide funding on cropland and rangeland, as well as for establishing or enhancing wildlife habitat and wetlands. NRCS staff can help landowners and operators identify their options that best suit their operation’s needs,” Lawson said.

Nebraska's two most popular conservation programs are the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). These programs provide financial incentives to landowners to install conservation practices that protect natural resources, resulting in cleaner air and water, healthy soil and more wildlife habitat.

In fiscal year 2023, EQIP obligated $31.6 million to 1,047 contracts, covering 415,000 acres across the state. CSP obligated $31 million to 313 contracts, covering 767,366 acres.

For applications to be considered eligible for NRCS funding, applications need to include one or more core practices listed on the FY23 Climate-Smart Ag and Forestry Mitigation Activities List.

“Participation in our conservation programs is completely voluntary. We offer assistance that can help make farming and ranching operations more sustainable while conserving the natural resources like soil and water on which all Nebraskans depend,” Lawson said.

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Want to learn more?

For more information about conservation programs and other assistance available, contact the NRCS field office or visit