LEXINGTON, Texas -- Small farmers are benefiting from a federal program designed to help them create conservation projects on their properties. The program is called the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and its purpose is to help fund projects that address concerns over natural resources.
In the past, farmers have built irrigation and erosion protection structures on their land.
Ward Taylor of Taylor Farms built greenhouse-type structures, also called High Tunnels, to protect the produce he grows. The structure allows there to be consistent temperatures which in effect lengthen the season.
Taylor built two structures and then applied for partial reimbursements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees EQIP.
"As far as winter months--I think it was 29 degrees this morning. I came out here at 8 a.m. and inside when it was completely closed it was about 65 degrees so we can have pretty much spring to summer like conditions inside here," said Taylor.
The latest data from the USDA show Texas farmers take in the biggest chunk of change. In 2018 alone, $173 million came into the state in total EQIP obligation dollars.