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usda eqip programs
I am looking at the forest stand improvement program. Has anyone used these programs?
I also want to add more food plots as well. They said the process is to come down fill out paperwork then a forester would come out go over everything I want to do. Food plots, habitat improvement. they design a plan and how to implement it and also give money towards the costs associated with it.
Yes, I am currently in an EQIP plan. Contact your local NRCS office about the EQIP program. They will explain the process to you. Your property is evaluated and then ranked against other properties in the state/area. A certain number of properties get chosen every year based on the work and funding.
I am in the NCRS / EQIP program as well. Not much $ in there we got some TSI $ about 10 years ago, apply every year.
Also get your state forester involved to walk the property with you, and if possible help put a forestry management plan together. It's required in OH for tax reductions and the NRCS EQIP vetting for $.
They don’t just give you money. There are requirements you must abide by. Depends on the program but, some of them requires an amount of time. It just ties up your land if your priorities change.
Can be a hassle and controlling, but if you use it right it helps. Great for paying a large portion of your forest management plan. Also really great for paying for seedling re-planting.
They definitely don't just give out money. The USDA funds projects based on their benefit to the wildlife that is most in need. The most funded projects (at least in VA) are benefiting the three Bs (birds, bees, and butterflies). If you tell them that you want to plant more food plots for deer you will not get funded. At least in my area food plots are not funded in any way.
What they will fund is: CRP, controlled burns in pine plantations, planting of flowering/fruit trees. Note that all of these benefit the three Bs.
In many cases turning cropland into CRP will pay the same as the farm rent would have for crops so it's a great benefit to you (the landowner) if you like wildlife/hunting. The disadvantage is that that land is tied up by the CRP contract and you can't plant food plots into the CRP or do most anything until the official CRP contract period is over. Even planting apple trees in the CRP is strictly against the rules.
If you carefully consider the requirements and follow their rules you should be able to profit (but not get rich) from your efforts.