GAINESVILLE — Florida agricultural landowners and producers affected by damages caused by Hurricane Ian can apply for emergency assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, announced Juan C. Hernandez, State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida.
“Hurricane Ian caused an enormous amount of catastrophic damage to the state, and we are continuing to assess damages,” said Hernandez.
NRCS can provide payments, through conservation program contracts, for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) conservation practices that address disaster related resource concerns on agricultural land. Interested landowners should apply by November 15, 2022.
NRCS is issuing EQIP early start waivers in emergency declaration counties, to allow commencement of key conservation practices prior to conservation program contract approval.
The 28 Florida counties identified for EQIP emergency assistance are: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Volusia.
Interested agricultural producers and landowners can contact the NRCS State Office at (352) 338-9500 or email SM.NRCS.FL.DISASTERINFO@USDA.GOV to submit the following information to begin their EQIP application process:
• Location where assistance is requested (county, city, and major crossroads),
• Contact name and email address,
• Phone number (state if mobile/cell; able to receive calls and/or text messages),
• Nature of need for assistance.
Additional EQIP emergency assistance guidelines:
• An early start waiver is not a guarantee of conservation program payment.
• Waiver approval is contingent upon work not having been started on the conservation practice(s) before the date this waiver was approved.
• Producers are asked to file an EQIP application and a waiver before they start an EQIP conservation practice. Producers may submit application responses by email or phone.
• Conservation practices must meet NRCS standards and specifications for the producer or landowner to receive payment.
EQIP conservation practices offered for financial assistance are listed below:
Practice Code - Practice Name and Units
325 - High Tunnel System (sf)
326 - Clearing and Snagging (ac)
327 - Conservation Cover (ac)
Find more information on EQIP at: