|By DEBORAH BEHRENDS
DEKALB, Ill. — A new hotline has been introduced to provide assistance to livestock and dairy farmers looking for more information on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, also known as EQIP.
The program is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and provides government-funded assistance for agricultural improvements that promote environmental quality.
The hotline is a service provided by Engineered Storage Products, manufacturers of Slurrystore waste management systems.
Operators can call the hotline at 1-866-376-EQIP (3747) or visit www.slurrystore.com and click on the EQIP hotline link.
The hotline will specialize in the EQIP funding areas of waste storage (EQIP code 313) and manure transfer (EQIP code 634).
“Because each state has slightly different regulations for storage and transportation of animal waste, the hotline operator takes basic information from the caller. That information is given to a dealer who will get back in touch with the caller,” said John Garnett, director of marketing and development, CST Industries Inc.
Garnett said the dealer can give the farmer a lot more specific advice related to his or her situation.
“Manure management is a very important issue right now,” said Dick Nelles, agricultural sales manager at Engineered Storage Products Co.
“New regulations are regularly being implemented which require farmers to think very differently about how they store and dispose animal waste. We want to help farmers explore their options and help them maximize the amount of EQIP funding available to them.”
To receive EQIP funding, producers must meet eligibility requirements and file a detailed application for approval.
“Our EQIP hotline staff and dealer network will help guide producers through the evaluation and application process, which can be overwhelming,” Nelles said. “We’ll assist producers in determining their potential EQIP funding and help them find the answers they need to complete their application.”
Garnett said EQIP funding is to be used for systems built to a strict code to address environmental issues.
“We have the safest systems in terms of design and code adherence. Not everyone else can say the same. Our products answer a lot of the issues that can become extremely problematic for people downstream,” Garnett said.
“There are a number of systems out there, we believe we have the best,” Garnett said.
“We hope that all eligible producers take advantage of the EQIP program and contact our hotline with any questions or concerns,” Nelles said.
This farm news was published in the July 5, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.