Alabama NRCS Offers Precision Ag Incentive

Cindy ZimmermanGeneral, USDA

The Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging growers to sign up for the Precision Farming Incentive under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

According to State Conservationist Dr. William Puckett, the Precision Farming Incentive is designed to encourage the adoption of variable-rate application of nutrients and pesticides and promote the use of GPS-enabled precision agricultural technology and equipment. The goals of the incentive include improving water quality by targeting areas for reduced nutrient and pesticide application, reducing runoff and leaching of pesticides, enhancing soil quality through reduced erosion and soil compaction and energy conservation through accurate and efficient application of crop inputs. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) is partnering on this initiative.

Annually planted cropland in 38 Alabama counties – about half the state – is eligible for the incentive and April 29 is the batching period cutoff date for selecting applications for funding.

I don’t know if there are other states offering this initiative. I did some searching on the national NRCS site and around but Alabama is the other one I could find specifically offering this program, but it does sound like a good way to help especially smaller or disadvantaged farmers to make that initial investment in using technology that helps the environment while saving time and money for producers.