The Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering funding to control invasive plants in east-central Illinois forestland through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program with the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Headwaters Invasive Plant Partnership. Applications submitted by Jan. 7 will be considered for 2022 funding.

The 11-county area covers: Champaign, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, Piatt, and Vermilion counties.

Landowners may apply for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to implement forest stand improvement, brush management, herbaceous weed control and establish trees and shrubs. The goal is to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality by improving forest health.

Applications will be accepted throughout the year but interested farmers should submit a signed application (NRCS-CPA-1200 form) to the local NRCS field office or through farmers.gov by Jan. 7 for 2022 funding. A blank NRCS-CPA-1200 application form is available from the local office or the Illinois NRCS website. Farmers wishing to use Farmers.gov, may sign in or create an account by clicking on “Sign up” in the upper right of the website.