How to Apply for EQIP
Contact your local NRCS office to start the planning and application process. An NRCS conservation professional will help you to apply for this program and determine how best to protect your natural resources.
When should I apply?
You can apply anytime for EQIP. Applications are accepted all year long. All applications are reviewed and funded in a competitive ranking process that usually takes place once each year.
The current application cut-off date is posted on the EQIP home page, or you can call your local NRCS office to ask. More application periods may be announced if other funds become available.
Where can I find the application materials and ranking criteria?
EQIP application materials, payment rates for conservation practices and this year's ranking criteria are available on the application materials & documents page.
What should I expect when I begin the application process?
You will begin by talking with an NRCS conservation professional. Together, you will discuss your situation. The NRCS professional can also help you complete required paperwork. There are several forms that you will need to fill out to verify that you are eligible to participate in federal conservation programs.
In addition to filling out the basic application materials, you will most likely work with NRCS to develop a conservation plan for your land. Conservation planning is usually one of the first steps in working with NRCS and applying to most USDA conservation programs.
An NRCS conservation professional will work with you to assess your natural resources and discuss your goals for your land. A conservation plan will be developed that includes specific conservation practices designed to protect and improve your natural resources while meeting your goals for your property.
Once a conservation plan has been developed, you can discuss with an NRCS employee which federal conservation programs are best able to help you implement the activities described in your plan. EQIP is just one of several NRCS conservation programs that may be able to help you act on your conservation plan.
There may also be other federal, state and local programs that can help you to implement your conservation plan.
Once your application is complete and you are verified as being eligible to participate in federal conservation programs, your application will be reviewed and ranked in a competitive ranking process that usually takes place once each year.
If your NRCS application is funded, you can proceed with implementing the conservation practices according to the terms of your EQIP agreement. You will be reimbursed for part of the cost of installing conservation practices after each practice is installed.