Submitting your opinion on the new EQIP rules may be more important than you think. As stated on their website, “EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.” The new rules that are being proposed may alter the way the EQIP program works.

Peggy Browne, vice president of the Oregon Farm Bureau and member of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, said “It is really important” that OCA members submit their comments. She is concerned that some of the original purposes of EQIP would be lost with the implantation of the new rules. Browne added, “While there might be several bullet points that describe the new rules, they don’t address some major priorities such as water quality, water conservation and energy.”

When asked if more people would become eligible if the rules go through, Browne replied, “The devil is in the details.” She believes the rules look good on the surface, but ultimately could cause lots of folks who work in agriculture to become less eligible for EQIP.

Browne said that “in general, EQIP is one of the most usable programs that NRCS offers, but if folks feel like these new rules might make them ineligible, they need to comment now.”

To submit your opinion on the possible EQIP rule changes, click here.

To read more about the proposed rule changes, click here.