Environmental Quality Incentives Program
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working agricultural land.
What's New in EQIP
The former Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) was folded into EQIP
Advance payment opportunities now exist for veteran agricultural producers
Advance payments for socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans were raised from 30 percent to 50 percent
Payment limitations are set at $450,000 with no ability to waive
EQIP applications are accepted through a continuous sign-up process. NRCS encourages customers to apply at any time and periodically announces cutoff dates when applications are ranked for funding. EQIP is open to all eligible ag producers. The following document describes how to apply for Farm Bill programs.
News Release: Jan 22, 2014 Indiana NRCS announces Sign up for special Farm Bill Initiatives
News Release: Sign Up Begins for Environmental Quality Conservation Projects
2008 Farm Bill - How to Apply for Programs (PDF; 648 KB)
Information about participant and land eligibility for EQIP
Notice: Starting a practice prior to written contract approval will result in the ineligibility of that practice for EQIP assistance unless a waiver has been approved.
Indiana is committed to reaching out to Historically Underserved individuals and groups. Historically Underserved applications 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.
Environmental and Operational Benefits - National and State Priorities
EQIP can provide financial and technical assistance to plan and design such measures as, but not limited to, the following.
Grazing management: fencing, stockwater systems, range and pasture planting
Nutrient management: manure storage structures, planned nutrient applications, soil testing
Pest management: crop and pest monitoring activities
Erosion control: grade control structures, diversions, water and sediment control basins
Wildlife habitat enhancement: stream buffers, upland wildlife habitat establishment
These and the many other measures included in EQIP can help producers accomplish a variety of operational goals, which may include:
Improvements to the long-term productivity and sustainability of an agricultural operation;
Improved condition of crops and forage for livestock;
Reduced costs for fuel, labor, fertilizers and pesticides;
Energy efficient systems and field operations; and
Compliance with regulatory requirements.
All EQIP 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.
2013 EQIP General Ranking Questions (PDF; 33 KB)
Indiana EQIP Payment Rates and Eligible Practices
2014 General EQIP Practice Details (DOC; 210 KB)
2014 Conservation Activity Plan Descriptions (DOC; 68 KB)
2014 Conservation Activity Plan Payment Rates (DOC; 253 KB)
Indiana EQIP Fact Sheets
Energy Conservation and Soil Quality Improvement System (DOC; 476 KB)
2008 Farm Bill - EQIP and Organic Agriculture (PDF; 167 KB)
Healthy Forests - EQIP (PDF; 366 KB)
EQIP TSP Processes
TSP TA Request Spreadsheet (DOC; 36 KB)
Participant TSP Documentation (DOC; 35 KB)
TSP CAP Request (DOC; 34 KB)
To apply for EQIP, contact your local service center.
If you have questions about EQIP, please contact Adam Heichelbech.