What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
January 31: Livestock Forage Program (LFP)

Taking 2nd Round applications
Although NRCS takes program applications on a continual basis, we have just announced our 2nd round cutoff for program applications and a new way of processing applications more efficiently through ACT NOW.
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

CSP helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resource concerns. CSP pays participants for conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment. CSP provides two possible types of payments through five-year contracts: annual payments for installing new conservation activities and maintaining existing practices; and supplemental payments for adopting a resource-conserving crop rotation. The next application cutoff for CSP is April 12, 2024. In Fiscal Year 2023, Iowa NRCS obligated about $22.2 million in CSP funds through 557 contracts covering more than 267,000 acres.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
Through EQIP, the NRCS provides conservation planning and financial assistance to implement conservation practices such as no-till, cover crops, terraces, grassed waterways, nutrient management, manure management facilities, and pasture management. The next application cutoff for EQIP applications is March 22, 2024. In Fiscal Year 2023, Iowa NRCS obligated about $39 million in EQIP funds through 840 contracts covering 93,717 acres.

NRCS is utilizing ACT NOW to process some applications faster in various ranking pools. ACT NOW allows NRCS to immediately approve and obligate a ranked application in a designated ranking pool when an eligible application meets or exceeds a State-determined minimum ranking score. This means no longer having to wait for all applications to be reviewed and preapproved in a ranking pool.