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Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program

The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for people who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private land. Through WHIP USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service provides both technical assistance and up to 75 percent cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat. WHIP agreements between NRCS and the participant generally last from 5 to 10 years from the date the agreement is signed.

WHIP has proven to be a highly effective and widely accepted program across the country. By targeting wildlife habitat projects on all lands and aquatic areas, WHIP provides assistance to conservation minded landowners that are unable to meet the specific eligibility requirements of other USDA conservation programs.

Program Information

Visit the national NRCS WHIP Web site for additional program information, including a fact sheet and sign-up information. Indiana program update is linked below.       

Accepting Applications

WHIP applications are accepted through a continuous sign-up process. NRCS periodically announces cutoff dates when applications are ranked for funding. NRCS encourages customers to apply at any time, and ranking periods will be announced. The following document describes how to apply for Farm Bill programs.

NOTE: Historically Underserved application receive higher payment rates in addition to being considered in high priority funding pools. Click on the Small & Limited and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers link for the NRCS definition of the Historically Underserved    

Program Job Sheets/Technical Notes


All WHIP applications receive a ranking score which is used to prioritize applications for funding based on environmental benefit and cost efficiency.

Indiana NRCS supports the locally led conservation effort in the delivery of conservation programs.  The USDA local work group (LWG) serves as the starting point for the development and coordination of USDA programs to provide an integrated approach for addressing local natural resource concerns.

NRCS develops National and State resource priorities along with priorities developed by each county LWG.  The LWG priorities will comprise 25 percent of the total points in the ranking score by identifying critical resource priorities within each county.  The State Conservationist must grant final approval of county LWG resource priorities.  Contact your local Service Center to find out when and where the LWG meeting is held.

Documents Coming Soon!

WHIP Payment Rates

Contact Information

For program information, please contact your local district conservationist at the nearest USDA Service Center.

For further assistance please contact Adam Heichelbech at: 317 295-5857