The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible National goals. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers may receive financial and technical help to install or implement structural and management conservation practices on eligible agricultural land. EQIP was reauthorized in the Food, Energy and Conservation Act of 2014 (Farm Bill). The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers EQIP. Funding for EQIP comes from the Commodity Credit Corporation.
EQIP is a continuous sign-up program that allows landowners or operators to apply for financial assistance in order to plan and apply certain conservation practices. Higher priority will be given to those applications that address national, state and local priorities and provide higher cost efficiency.
Payments for installed conservation practices will be made in accordance with NRCS conservation practice standards. The statewide payment rate for each practice is on a per unit basis. The payment schedule for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDAFR), US Military Veterans, and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (BFR) are set at higher levels than the standard rates.
A Conservation Plan of Operations will be developed to support the EQIP application and contract if accepted. The minimum contract period will be one year following implementation of the last conservation practice but cannot exceed 10 years. Technical assistance will be provided by NRCS or, if desired, by a private Technical Service Provider (TSP) funded by NRCS if funds are available.
In order to be considered an agricultural producer eligible for EQIP, the applicant must be able to show that they have a vested interest in an operation that can potentially produce an annual value of $1,000 of agricultural products. Agricultural producers of non-industrial private forest land are exempt from this requirement.
A conservation plan is the basis for an EQIP application. Applicants will need an up-to-date conservation plan that describes the conservation practices to be implemented, the timing of the implementation, the practice location, and the conservation benefit to be achieved.
Applicants are encouraged to request conservation planning and technical assistance from their local NRCS field office to help with the development of a conservation plan prior to applying for financial assistance through EQIP.
Interested applicants may apply for EQIP by completing the application, Form NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application, and submitting the application to their local NRCS field office in person, by phone, email, or fax.
Download the Application Form
Contact your local NRCS field office