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Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - Arizona

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

About the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) to provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Additional information about this environmental improvement program can be found on the NRCS National Website. For application assistance and sign up deadlines please contact your local NRCS office.

EQIP Signup Opportunities in Arizona

Those who are interested in EQIP should work with the local NRCS office to identify and plan the conservation measures you want on your land. Those who have previously developed a conservation plan with NRCS will already have the conservation planning step completed. Those who consider applying for EQIP for the first time should schedule a meeting with NRCS to discuss their options and develop a conservation plan before moving forward.

Local NRCS conservationists will help you develop a conservation plan, identify conservation measures and pursue funding through one of the EQIP signup options available in Arizona.

2013 Regular EQIP

EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts that help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns.  EQIP also provides for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant animal, air and related resources on agricultural land as well as helps producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations.  EQIP applications can be submitted to local NRCS offices at any time during the year. Applications to be considered for fiscal year 2013 funding must be submitted by January 18, 2013.  Interested applicants should contact their local NRCS field office.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Conventional EQIP Payment Schedule
Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) EQIP Cost List
EQIP Screening Worksheet for Eligible Applicants

2013 Air Quality

Conservation funding to assist producers address air quality concerns.  This initiative is only available to producers in Arizona’s following counties, Cochise, Gila, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Yuma.

Air Quality Initiative (EQIP)
Air Quality EQIP Payment Schedule

2013 Seasonal High Tunnels

Natural resource benefits from using tunnel structures may include: improved plant quality, improved soil quality, and improved water quality through methods such as reduced nutrient and pesticide transport. During the pilot period, eligible agricultural producers may apply for EQIP financial assistance for high tunnels, but only for manufactured tunnels covering up to 2,178 square feet (approximately 30 ft x 72 ft) per farming operation. The high tunnel will have an expected practice life of 4 years.

Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative (EQIP)
Seasonal High Tunnel EQIP Payment Schedule

2013 Energy Initiative

Conservation funding for energy-related conservation activities is available to producers in Arizona. Financial and technical assistance is available through the On-Farm Energy Audit/Implementation Initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Energy Initiative (EQIP)
Energy Initiative EQIP Payment Schedule

2013 Organic Initiative

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Arizona has funding available to assist organic farming operations and individuals transitioning to organic farming.

The 2008 Farm Bill highlights the availability of financial and technical assistance to help producers of all commodities meet their conservation goals, including producers transitioning to organic farming and currently certified organic producers. The assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the EQIP program helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to allow their organic operations to be environmentally sustainable. EQIP is primarily used to provide financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices to address soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources. A new organic provision targets organic producers and producers transitioning to organic production:

  • Assistance is for conservation practices related to organic production
  • Assistance is limited to $20,000 per year and $80,000 during a six year period
  • Producers are required to develop and carry out an Organic System Plan (OSP) or carry out practices consistent with an OSP
  • Producers must be pursing an organic certification or in compliance with their organic certification

Organic Initiative EQIP
Organic Initiative EQIP Payment Schedule

2013 Water Quality Initiative

A program under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through which NRCS will assist producers to improve water quality on their farm or ranch in a priority watersheds.

Water Quality Initiative

EQIP Funding Selection and Priorities

Priorities for EQIP funding are established with input from Arizona’s strong conservation partnership based on locally identified natural resource needs consistent with state and national EQIP priorities.  EQIP applications are evaluated based on county priorities and are then prioritized for funding. Applications that best address natural resources as described in the ranking criteria are prioritized for funding.

Funds are also distributed to local field offices, to address resource concerns on Irrigated Cropland, Pasture, Rangeland, and non-industrial private forestland.

For More Information

NRCS National EQIP Website


Jason Kepler, Resource Conservationist
Phone: (602) 280-8824

Kris Graham-Chavez, Resource Conservationist
Phone: (602) 280-8842

Steve Smarik, Resource Conservationist
Phone: (602) 280-8785

Dennis Kimberlin, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: (602) 280-8800