The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Oklahoma is announcing the fiscal year 2023 signup period for Conservation Incentive Contracts (CIC), a new option available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Oklahoma producers should apply by February 24 to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2023.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) offers many services including the Conservation Incentive Contracts (CIC) program. CIC offers producers financial assistance to adopt conservation management practices on working landscapes and provides a steppingstone to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
Through these contracts, NRCS works with producers to strengthen the quality and condition of natural resources on their operations using management practices, such as prescribed grazing and residue and tillage management that target the priority resource concern(s).
A producer participating in CIC is not required to include their entire operation in the contract but can select which acres and land uses they wish to address. Under CIC, a producer must address at least one priority resource concern with a management practice within a high-priority area on an eligible land use.
Producers will receive an annual incentive payment to implement management practices and will have the opportunity to install conservation practices that support the management practice(s) in addressing the primary resource concern. Contracts under CIC last five years and a practice must be completed in the first 12 months following obligation.
The priority resource concern and land uses identified by the Oklahoma State Technical Committee in 2023 were Soil Quality Limitations on Cropland, Pastureland, and Rangeland. Eligible management practices to address the resource concern are:
- 328 – Conservation Crop Rotation (Crop)
- 329 – Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till (Crop)
- 340 – Cover Crop (Crop)
- 345 – Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till (Crop)
- 528 – Prescribed Grazing (Pasture and Range)
How to Apply
NRCS accepts applications for EQIP Conservation Incentive Contracts year-round; however, producers and landowners should apply by February 24, 2023, to be considered for this year’s funding. To apply, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center.