Environmental Quality Incentives Program
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers to implement structural and management conservation practices on eligible agricultural land through contracts up to a maximum term of ten years in length. These contracts provide financial assistance to help eligible participants address natural resource concerns and improve soil, water, air, plant, animal, and related resources on eligible agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP may also help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations. It is a voluntary program that promotes environmental quality in agricultural production.
How EQIP Works
The philosophy for EQIP in Alaska is to meet national priorities, be locally driven, and provide flexibility for landowners to achieve their diverse conservation objectives. The Alaska EQIP and WHIP Policy is available in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format. If you cannot access a PDF please call (907) 761-7760 to request another option.
Participants and their local NRCS office work together to develop conservation plans and practice designs that meet the landowner's goals and address identified natural resource concerns. Once a plan is developed, the participant may seek financial assistance through programs such as EQIP to implement the plan. Financial assistance is awarded through a contract between the participant and NRCS. The participant is responsible for installation of practices to meet NRCS standards and design specifications. Payment reimburses the participant for successful installation of the practice. The participant is then responsible for maintaining the practice. EQIP provides financial assistance payments to eligible producers based on a portion of the average cost associated with practice implementation.
Financial assistance is also available to help producers develop conservation plans with assistance from a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) through a Conservation Activity Plan (see below). Producers may also use a TSP for technical assistance needed for certain eligible activities, services and the development practice designs. Conservation plans developed by NRCS or a TSP are not required to obtain further financial assistance.
Historically underserved producers (limited resource farmers/ranchers, beginning farmers/ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, Tribes) may be eligible for a higher practice payment rate for the implementation of conservation practices and creation of conservation plans.
Conservation Activity Plans (CAP's)
Producers can apply for EQIP funding to pay for the development of plans by certified Technical Service Providers. These single, stand-alone contracts have priority ranking and should be completed within one year. Usually, only one CAP contract may be developed on eligible land. CAP payment rates are consistent with other EQIP funding, which is 75 percent for the standard rate, and 90 percent for historically underserved participants.
Fiscal Year 2014 EQIP Conservation Activity Pan (CAP) information and complete list of plans and payment schedules. (This link goes to the NRCS national website.)
These plans are specific to types of land use, such as grazing, forest, or organic farming. Examples of plans include comprehensive nutrient management, forest management, grazing management, or fish and wildlife habitat.
To learn more about Technical Service Providers, go to TSP-NRCS. For a list of approved Technical Service Providers in Alaska, click here: TSP's in Alaska
For Technical Questions for Farm Energy and Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure, contact State Engineer Brett Nelson: email@example.com
For technical questions contact State Resource Conservationist, Helen Denniston at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (907) 761-7756.
Local priorities are established by Local Working Groups (LWG). LWGs are convened in each service area and are composed of local representatives of producer groups, conservation organizations, Alaska Native entities, agribusinesses, and federal, state, and Tribal government agencies. Each LWG identifies priority resource concerns within their particular service area. For information on the LWG meeting in your area, contact your nearest NRCS Hub or Field Office. The EQIP application process is competitive for the awarding of contracts. There is no order of importance to the listing of National or State Priorities. All Priorities receive equal consideration for ranking and funding.
The following documents require Adobe Acrobat
Grazing Lands-Northern Hub
Grazing Lands-Southern Hub
Statewide Beginning Farmer
Statewide Socially Disadvantaged Farmer
Seasonal High Tunnels-FY 2013
Transition to Organic
How Funds are Allocated Throughout the State
Funds are allocated to address the Nation, State and Local Priorities in the form of sub-funds or funding pools. Applicants may apply for any funding pool for which they are eligible. Applicants compete for funding within the funding pools they choose. There is no competition for funds between different funding pools. National policy requires that 5 percent of the total Alaska EQIP allocation be directed to Socially Disadvantaged applicants and 5 percent be directed to Beginning Farmer applicants free from competition with general applicants. The Organic Initiative is funded directly at the National level and any funds in those funding pools that are not awarded to a contract will return to National Headquarters. All other Alaska funding pools receive a distribution of funds that are allocated to the state. If the eligible applications within a particular funding pool total less than the amount available within the pool, excess funds will be redistributed to other fund pools so that the allocated EQIP dollars will remain in the State.
EQIP applications are accepted on a continuing basis.
More EQIP Information
Al White, Assistant State Conservationist - Programs