Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts. These contracts provide financial assistance for producers to address soil, water and related natural resource concerns on private agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. In addition, a purpose of EQIP is to help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations. Throughout Illinois, producers have received assistance to implement conservation practices that include, but are not limited to, nutrient management, cover crops, terraces, grassed waterways, manure management facilities, and pasture management. Additional national information can be found at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/eqip.
Applying for EQIP
EQIP is available to producers or owners of eligible land with a natural resource concern. The land can be either in agricultural or forest production including producers engaged in livestock production.
Applications for EQIP are accepted on a continuous basis; however Illinois NRCS has established four application cutoff dates. The four application cutoff dates are listed below:
November 15, 2013
January 17, 2014
March 21, 2014
May 16, 2014
Illinois agricultural producers who submit a signed application, NRCS-CPA-1200 form, at their local NRCS field offices by the deadline will be evaluated for funding consideration.
Applicants must complete the NRCS-CPA-1200 application form available at their local field office or download the application and return the form to their local NRCS field office. After submitting an application, the applicant will also receive a copy of the NRCS-CPA-1200 Contract Appendix, explaining EQIP contract terms and conditions. Reviewing the contract appendix up front helps the applicant understand the requirements of the EQIP program. In addition, all applicants need to meet eligibility requirements in order to be an EQIP participant. Contact your local office to discuss eligibility criteria.
NRCS-CPA 1200 Application (English) (PDF, 38kb)
NRCS-CPA 1200 Application (En Español) (PDF, 44kb) (próximamente)
How EQIP Works
The 2008 Farm Bill established EQIP to provide financial assistance payments to eligible producers based on a portion of the typical cost associated with implementation of approved conservation practices.
Additional payments may be available to help producers develop conservation plans which are required to obtain financial assistance.
Historically underserved producers (limited resource farmers/ranchers, beginning farmers/ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers) may be eligible for a higher practice payment rate for EQIP.
EQIP is a competitive process. EQIP applicants compete for funding on a state-wide or area-wide basis. A ranking process is used to determine which applications will receive EQIP funding. The Illinois NRCS has several different EQIP funding pools. The ranking criteria are developed with input from the Illinois State Technical Committee. All ranking criteria categories help to achieve the common EQIP objective of optimizing environmental benefits.
More information regarding the ranking criteria and process will be forthcoming.
For help with the EQIP program in Illinois contact your local NRCS office.