2015 EQIP sign-up open

From the IPM Institute:
The USDA-NRCS Support Adoption of Integrated Pest Management
Local offices of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are accepting applications for the 2015 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  EQIP is a voluntary program that can help your farm access financial and technical assistance to implement more than 80 basic conservation practices, including Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Opportunities for IPM
IPM Conservation Activity Plans 114 (CAPs) and Herbicide Resistance IPM CAPs 154 are one-year programs offered by NRCS which provide financial assistance to design an IPM plan to address key natural resource concerns.
Completing these plans increases your eligibility to sign up for other practices, such as establishing pollinator habitat to protect honey bees.  Learn about the $4 million the NRCS is investing in the midwest to conserve pollinators, http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/mn/newsroom/releases/?cid=STELPRDB1262949
Growers who have completed an IPM CAP may apply for the 595 IPM practice and receive an annual per-acre payment for three years.  These financial assistance payments are designed to offset costs associated with investments in your IPM program including improvements to scouting and monitoring, sprayer calibration or use of pheromone mating disruption.
How to apply?
The NRCS accepts applications for EQIP on a continuous basis, but applications must be filed by the deadlines to be considered during the 2015 ranking periods. Applications filed after the deadlines will be considered in the next ranking period if funds remain available.
Learn how to apply and if EQIP is right for your orchard!
Orchardists in Minnesota must apply by November 14 or December 19, 2014, to be considered for 2015. Although the deadline for Wisconsin growers has passed, NRCS will accept applications on a continuous basis. There is no better time to apply than when the sprayer or picking bags are put away, so sign up today!
How can the IPM Institute help? 
Wondering what the IPM Institute can do for you?  Our professional IPM services have been helping growers since 2009 to improve their knowledge of IPM systems and grow quality fruit while reducing risk to farm workers, consumers and the environment while also protecting their bottom line.
The IPM Institute is qualified by the NRCS Technical Service Provider (TSP) program to write IPM CAPs and help growers implement IPM programs through the 595 IPM standard.  Only approved TSPs may work with growers to implement approved NRCS conservation practices.
Learn more about the IPM Institute, www.ipminstitute.org
Visit the AppleTalk blog to access all the transcripts from this years AppleTalk calls and archives, www.ecofruit.wisc.edu/appletalk