Environmental Quality Incentives Program - High Tunnel Initiative

Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

The Natural Resources Conservation Service announces the opportunity for producers to participate in the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative being offered through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

The Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers. The goal of the initiative is to assist producers to extent the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner.

The Initiative may assist producers in addressing a resource concern by:

  • improving plant quality
  • improving soil quality
  • reducing nutrient and pesticide transportation
  • improving air quality through reduced transportation inputs
  • reducing energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh produce.
Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include individuals, legal entities, Indian Tribes, or joint operations engaged in agricultural production. Organic producers who grow agricultural commodities on eligible land and have natural resource concerns which may be addressed by a seasonal high tunnel may participate in the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative.

Eligible producers interested in entering into a financial assistance agreement with NRCS for EQIP assistance may file an application at any time. Applicants must be:

  • an agricultural producer and have control of eligible land for the term of the proposed contract period; eligible land includes cropland
  • in compliance with the provisions for protecting the interests of tenants and sharecroppers, including the provisions for sharing EQIP payments on a fair and equitable basis
  • in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation compliance provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill.
  • within appropriate payment limitation requirements, as specified in the 2008 Farm Bill.
  • in compliance with adjusted gross income requirements of the 2008 Farm Bill.
EQIP Application Information

NRCS accepts and processes EQIP applications on a continuous basis. However, NRCS has established the following dates for the ranking of eligible applications for the Seasonal

High Tunnel Initiative:

Application Period: From program announcement to March 15, 2013.

Applications submitted after these dates will be evaluated and considered for funding in later funding opportunities. Producers must submit a complete program application and other documentation to support eligibility to be considered for financial assistance through EQIP.

Information about how to apply for assistance through EQIP is available online. Click on the State where the property that you are interested in enrolling in EQIP is located. This will take you to that State's Programs home page, which will link to that State's EQIP page.

Supporting Practices

The following list of practices are also available to producers (as applicable to their state) to support the Seasonal High Tunnel Practice to help ensure that the resource concerns are addressed while implementing and managing the Seasonal High Tunnel:

Conservation Crop Rotation
Contour Farming
Cover Crop
Critical Area Planting
Grassed Waterway
Integrated Pest Management
Irrigation Reservoir
Irrigation System, Microirrigation
Irrigation Water Management
Nutrient Management
Residue and Tillage Management, Mulch Till
Residue and Tillage Management, No Till/Strip Till/Direct Seed
Residue and Tillage Management, Ridge Till
Residue Management, Seasonal
Row Arrangement
Subsurface Drain
Surface Drainage, Field Ditch
Underground Outlet

In addition the following Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs) are available to support the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative:

Nutrient Management Plan
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan
Irrigation Water Management Plan  

Additional Information

Documents on this page may require Adobe Acrobat

National EQIP webpage Including High Tunnel information

High Tunnel Payment Schedule - Florida (PDF)

Florida EQIP website

The NRCS National EQIP Website has more information.

Florida Program Contact

Contact yourLocal USDA Service Center or

Jeffrey Woods, Assistant State Conservationist for Financial Assistance Programs, 352-338-9515