Benefits of Financial Assistance Programs
Programs offered by agencies offer benefits to producers and the environment
If you’ve ever considered applying for an agriculture-related financial assistance program, chances are that you have run across some programs from the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).
The NRCS offers several farmer-friendly financial assistance and incentive programs that have benefits for the farmer, the community and the environment.
“The flagship financial assistance programs of the NRCS are the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program,” said Curt McDaniel, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist – Programs.
He added that these are two of the most heavily utilized programs in the NRCS. According to the NRCS website, the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) “provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.”
Some popular practices implemented by producers working with the NRCS through the EQIP program include cover crops, irrigation and prescribed grazing.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance – the higher the performance, the higher the payment.
There are three main benefits to participating in a financial assistance program such as EQIP or CSP, McDaniel explained.
One benefit is that the producer gets protection of the natural resources on their farm or ranch – which is quite a large benefit indeed, considering that the natural resources we have are the only ones we have.
The second benefit is that the producer will hopefully see an increase in production from properly implemented practices through NRCS financial assistance programs.
The third benefit from participating in these programs is a little broader.
“Society gets an environmental benefit,” McDaniel said. “And these programs are also beneficial to rural communities.”
When producers utilize the financial assistance they receive from the NRCS, they are purchasing supplies from their local communities and making every dollar count, while also making production practice choices that help safeguard not just their natural resources, but their neighbors as well.
The NRCS takes applications to their financial assistance programs year-round.
“There’s never a bad time,” McDaniel said. The best way to get the application process started for one of these programs is to visit your local USDA field office.
“We always encourage people to stop in and visit,” McDaniel said.
Oklahoma NRCS Offices
Adair County • Stilwell, Okla • (918) 696-7612
Cherokee County • Tahlequah, Okla. • (918) 456-1924
Craig County • Vinita, Okla. • (918) 256-6882
Delaware County • Jay, Okla. • (918) 253-4513
Le Flore County • Poteau, Okla. • (918) 647-4800
Mayes County • Pryor, Okla. • (918) 825-3673
Muskogee County • Muskogee, Okla. • (918) 682-8831
Rogers County • Claremore, Okla. • (918) 341-3276
Sequoyah County • Sallisaw, Okla. • (918) 775-6577
Tulsa County • Tulsa, Okla. • (918) 280-1596
Wagoner County • Wagoner, Okla. • (918) 485-4747
Arkansas NRCS Offices
Baxter County • Mountain Home, Ark. • (870) 425-3527
Benton County • Bentonville, Ark. • (479) 273-2622
Boone County • Harrison, Ark. • (870) 741-8600
Carroll County • Berryville, Ark. • (870) 423-2638
Cleburne County • Heber Springs, Ark. • (501) 362-2628
Crawford County • Serviced by Fort Smith, Ark., Office • (501) 474-2281
Faulkner County • Conway, Ark. • (501) 327-6509
Franklin County • Ozark, Ark. • (479) 667-8600
Fulton County • Salem, Ark. • (870) 895-3201
Johnson County • Clarksville, Ark. • (479) 754-2800
Logan County • Paris, Ark. • (479) 963-2612
Madison County • Huntsville, Ark. • (479) 738-6321
Marion County • Serviced by Mountain Home, Ark. Office • (870) 449-6356
Monroe County • Clarendon, Ark. • (870) 747-3431
Newton County • Serviced by Harrison, Ark. Office • (870) 446-2236
Pope County • Russellville, Ark. • (479) 968-3881
Searcy County • Marshall, Ark. • (870) 448-3184
Sebastian County • Fort Smith, Ark. • (479) 646-8300
Stone County • Mountain View, Ark. • (870) 269-3726
Van Buren County • Clinton, Ark. • (501) 745-5161
Washington County • Fayetteville, Ark. • (479) 442-4160
White County • Searcy, Ark. • (501) 268-5866http://www.ozarksfn.com/2017/12/20/benefits-of-financial-assistance-programs-2/Farm Helpagriculture,Arkansas,farmers,financial assistance,NRCS,Oklahoma,programsPrograms offered by agencies offer benefits to producers and the environment If you’ve ever considered applying for an agriculture-related financial assistance program, chances are that you have run across some programs from the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS offers several farmer-friendly financial assistance and incentive programs that...Klaire HowertonKlaire Howertonklairebruce@gmail.comAuthorOzarks Farm & Neighbor Newspaper