Last month the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the cut-off date for Michigan farmers to submit applications for the first 2014 round of Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding to March 21.

The IPM Institute Of North America Inc. is encouraging farmers to apply for EQIP for Nutrient Management Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs) to keep fertilizer on farm fields and out of rivers, lakes and streams. Designated funds are available for CAPs to identify and plan improvements. 

The CAP process includes working with a qualified crop consultant to look at the entire farm and develop a plan to address any concerns, including erosion, compaction and nutrient losses that can negatively impact water quality and affect farmers economically. With a completed CAP in hand, producers will be eligible for additional NRCS financial and technical assistance to implement improvements. 

The NRCS in Michigan has an initial allocation of $14.6 million available in financial assistance. Applications are available online or at your local NRCS office. Please contact your NRCS District Conservationist if you are interested in developing a Conservation Activity Plan 104 for your farm. Additional information about the EQIP programs for Michigan can be found online here.