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USDA reminds producers of advance payment option

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BOZEMAN — USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service reminds historically underserved producers, who are participating in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, of the advance payment option. This option allows them to get conservation practice payments in advance of practice implementation. 

“The advance payment option makes NRCS conservation assistance more accessible to underserved producers,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “It enables them to participate without having to worry about covering up-front costs themselves or looking for a loan to cover the costs. Some farmers don’t have the financial ability to wait for the NRCS reimbursement to arrive.”

EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to address natural resource concerns and to deliver environmental benefits, such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, and improved or created wildlife habitat.

USDA is committed to helping beginning, socially disadvantaged, veteran, and limited resources farmers and ranchers make their operations more environmentally and economically sustainable. Such producers may request payments when they have final designs and job sheets and are ready to begin their EQIP practices, such as: vegetative practices, structural practices, management practices, and other improvements that further program goals such as conservation activity plans. Advance payments provide at least 50 percent of the payment rate for each practice. The funds must be spent within 90 days of receipt and practices must be completed as agreed to in an EQIP plan of operations. Producers also may opt to have NRCS pay the contractors or vendors directly.

For more information, visit the advance payments website: nrcs.usda.gov/farmbill, where you can download the EQIP Advance Payment Fact Sheet and read the blog#FridaysOnTheFarm: Advance Payment Helps Extend the Season blog.

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