Programs designed to assist with soil, water, and wildlife habitat conservation

WICHITA — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that applications are being accepted for the agency's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). The first cutoff application period for both programs for this fiscal year is Jan. 15, 2010.

Funding can be received through EQIP for conservation practices related to water quality, water quantity (irrigation), soil condition, soil erosion and grazing lands. The program provides incentive payments for applying best management practices and cost-share payments for applying structural practices. Brush removal for rangeland is also cost-shared through EQIP. (This does not include land currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.) A "resource concern" must be identified in order for funding to be approved.

Funding for WHIP is a program through USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) for producers who want to develop or improve wildlife habitat on private lands.

Agricultural producers interested in participating in EQIP or WHIP can apply at a local NRCS office, but only applications submitted prior to Jan. 15, 2010, will be considered for the first cutoff period. Information about 2010 EQIP and WHIP is available online at or at any local USDA Service Center. For more information, phone the Wichita NRCS branch at 316-721-6127 or email