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How to Apply for WHIP


With the enactment of the Agricultural Act (February 7, 2014) funding provided for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) in FY-2014 is no longer available for obligations. WHIP is not reauthorized.

NRCS will honor and continue to support fiscal year 2014 WHIP program contracts using the rules and policy that was in effect at the time of contract obligations.

Portions of the WHIP Statute were rolled into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Anyone still interested in applying for wildlife projects in programs should go to the EQIP web page.


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 WHIP. 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 WHIP 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?

WHIP 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. WHIP 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 WHIP agreement. You will be reimbursed for part of the cost of installing conservation practices after each practice is installed.

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