CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS — State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announced that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer funding to control invasive plants in forest stands in east-central Illinois through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS has partnered with the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Headwaters Invasive Plant Partnership (HIPP) to help producers address resource concerns such as water quality and soil health. The application cutoff date will be January 7, 2022.

Landowners can apply for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to implement forest stand improvement, brush management, herbaceous weed control, and tree/shrub establishment practices. The project focus is to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality by improving forest health in the following 11 counties: Champaign, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, Piatt, and Vermilion.

Financial assistance will be available to producers in east-central Illinois who have land in the above-mentioned counties. While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit a signed application (NRCS-CPA-1200 form) to the local NRCS field office, or through the http://www.farmers.gov website using their account, by the cutoff date of January 7, 2022, to ensure their applications are considered for 2022 funding. A blank NRCS-CPA-1200 application form may be obtained from the local office or on the Illinois NRCS website. Producers wishing to use Farmers.gov, can sign in or create an account by clicking on “Sign up” in the upper right of the website.

To see if you are eligible to participate in the program, producers should contact their local NRCS field office or visit the Illinois NRCS website at www.il.nrcs.usda.gov.

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