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Conservation Activity Plans (CAPS)

The 2nd batching date for FY2014 is January 17, 2014

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program for persons who are engaged in livestock, forestry, or agricultural production, including organic production.

EQIP offers financial assistance for producers interested in obtaining a Conservation Activity Plan for their eligible agricultural land. A Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) combines specific land use objectives associated with a renewable resource with a comprehensive management plan that addresses all of the natural resource concerns within an agriculture or forestry operation. The purpose of a CAP is to outline a combination of vegetative, structural, and/or management practices necessary to protect and sustain natural resources on agricultural and forest landscapes, and to serve as a blueprint for future implementation of conservation practices.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must have an interest in an agricultural operation and be compliant with the conservation provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill with current crop and producer records on file with USDA's Farm Service Agency. They must own or control the land, and agree to implement conservation practices according to the contract schedule.

Land is not eligible for a CAP if it is currently enrolled in another USDA Farm Bill conservation program, such as the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) or Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Land is also ineligible if it is publicly owned, unless the publicly owned land is part of an eligible landowners operation.

When are applications submitted?

CAP applications may be submitted any time during the year. CAP requests will be funded several times throughout the year following advertised batching dates.

  • No more than one specific CAP will be scheduled per FSA tract; however, different types may be scheduled per tract if on separate land units within the tract.
  • Payment limitations, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), and producer eligibility must be verified before the application status is changed to eligible.
  • Practices related to the CAP may be eligible for EQIP funding once the CAP is completed.

How long does the CAP last?

EQIP CAP contracts are written with a minimum term that ends one year after the payment is certified for the contracted plan. Contracts are legally binding documents. The plan must be completed within 12 months of contract signing or the contract will be in a non-compliance status subject to termination.

What are the payment rates and terms?

Program payment rates for CAPs are calculated to be approximately 75% of the typical cost of plan preparation by an approved Technical Service Provider. If the applicant is a beginning farmer, socially disadvantaged, or limited resource producer (all considered historically underserved categories), the rates are 90%. Payments are made after the CAP is submitted to NRCS for review.

List of CAPs

102 Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan
104 Nutrient Management Plan
106 Forest Management Plan
108 Feed Management Plan
110 Grazing Management Plan
112 Prescribed Burning Plan
114 Integrated Pest Management Plan
118 Irrigation Water Management Plan
122 AgEMP - Headquarters
124 AgEMP - Landscape
130 Drainage Water Management Plan
138 Conservation Plan - Organic Transition
142 Fish and Wildlife Habitat Plan
146 Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Plan

 

Contracts are subject to payment limitations. No applicant may receive more than $300,000 during any 6-year period. Organic farms have a limitation of $80,000 during any 6-year period with an annual limit of $20,000.

Contact:

Joyce Purcell
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
(860) 871-4028