Some Conservation Programs Expire with Farm Bill
The farm bill expired at the end of September which means funding for conservation programs has dried up too, but that’s not true for not all conservation programs.
There are several different programs administered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Two, the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program have funding through 2014.
Eric Girth, Assistant State Conservationist for finance with the Illinois office of the NRCS, said those are the exception.
Others, like the Wetland Reserve Program, not only do not have funding they are not authorized.
"Like I said we're not even authorized to work in those programs right now, what we're trying to do is focus a little bit more on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program," Girth said.
He added that they cannot even distribute applications for the unauthorized programs.
Girth said EQIP and the Stewardship Program are two of the most widely used programs. Though he said the Illinois office has not actually received the money for next year’s contracts yet, they expect the funding to be similar to last year’s.
Girth said the money for the first batch of EQIP grants could go out as early as January.