USDA transfers environmental program responsibitiies

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture will transfer administrative responsibilities for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), effective October 1.

Activities affected by this transfer include allocating and maintaining EQIP funds, determining producer eligibility, recording and maintaining the electronic contract database, processing and issuing payments, and conducting related financial activities.

NRCS is asking participants who are involved in a practice under EQIP to send their bills to the local NRCS office no later than September 21 to allow time for NRCS to inspect and certify completion of the practice.

NRCS will sign off on these completed practices and get the payment application to the local FSA office prior to September 30. Payments that are not made prior to this date may experience some delays during the transfer of responsibilities.

“We want to make this transition as smooth as possible, which is why we are requiring participants to get their bills in to us right away,” Alexander said.

If you have questions regarding payment or the transfer of responsibilities, call Alexander at (720) 544-2805 or e-mail him at dennis.alexander@co.usda.gov; or contact your local NRCS office.