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2017 Environmental Quality Incentives Program

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Introduction

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, agricultural producers receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working agricultural land.

Accepting Applications

EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis, however, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" or submission deadline dates for evaluation, ranking and approval of eligible applications. EQIP is open to all eligible agricultural producers and submitted applications may be considered or evaluated in multiple funding pool opportunities. The following document describes how to apply for Farm Bill programs or visit the following website: Get started with NRCS national page

Learn how to get started with NRCS.

To apply for EQIP, contact your local service center.

Eligibility

Agricultural producers and owners of non-industrial private forestland and Tribes are eligible to apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farm or ranch lands.

Applicants must:  

  • Control or own eligible land
  • Comply with adjusted gross income limitation (AGI)  provisions
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements
  • Develop an NRCS EQIP plan of operations

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. 

Participant Responsibilities

Applicants are responsible for completing and filing all application and eligibility paperwork as required. If funded, participants are required to sign a contract and agree to implement the planned conservation practices to NRCS standards and specifications as scheduled.

Socially Disadvantaged, Beginning, and Limited Resource Farmers/Ranchers, Military Veteran Farmers

The 2014 Farm Bill continues to address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, as well as beginning and limited resource farmers and ranchers and Veteran Farmers. It provides for voluntary participation, offers incentives, and focuses on equity in accessing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services. Enhancements include increased payment rates and advance payments of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.

Missouri is committed to reaching out to Historically Underserved individuals and groups. Historically Underserved participants may also receive higher payment rates in addition to being considered in high priority funding pools. Click here for more information. 

National and State Priorities

The following national priorities, consistent with statutory resources concerns that include soil, water, wildlife, air quality, and related natural resource concerns, may be used in EQIP implementation:

  1. Reductions of nonpoint source pollution, such as nutrients, sediment, pesticides, or excess salinity in impaired watersheds consistent with total maximum daily loads (TMDL) where available; the reduction of surface and groundwater contamination; and the reduction of contamination from agricultural sources, such as animal feeding operations
  2. Conservation of ground and surface water resources
  3. Reduction of emissions, such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and ozone precursors and depleters that contribute to air quality impairment violations of National Ambient Air Quality Standards
  4. Reduction in soil erosion and sedimentation from unacceptable levels on agricultural land
  5. Promotion of at-risk species habitat conservation including development and improvement of wildlife habitat
  6. Energy conservation to help save fuel, improve efficiency of water use, maintain production, and protect soil and water resources by more efficiently using fertilizers and pesticides and
  7. Biological carbon storage and sequestration

In addition, Missouri has identified the following priorities:

  1. Increase water quality through reducing sediment and nutrients entering Missouri waters through landscape best management practices and improved animal feeding operations
  2. Improve health and productivity of Missouri soils
  3. Promote sustainable and healthy grazing management on Missouri farms and ranches
  4. Add habitat and diversity for Missouri’s diverse population of wildlife
  5. Provide management improvements and activities on Missouri’s privately-held forestlands

Conservation Activity Plans (CAP)

NRCS also provides financial assistance opportunities to participants for conservation planning services through a Technical Service Provider (TSP) to develop Conservation Activity Plans (CAP). A CAP can be developed for producers to identify conservation practices needed to address a specific natural resource need. Typically, these plans are specific to certain kinds of land use such as transitioning to organic operations, grazing land, forest land, or can also address a specific resource need such a plan for management of nutrients or to address an air quality concern. With a CAP plan, producers can then apply for financial assistance to implement the needed conservation practices. More detailed information on Conservation Activity Plans is available on the National Conservation Activity Plan website.

Fiscal Year 2017 Missouri EQIP Deadlines

Applications submitted by the deadlines identified below will be evaluated to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2017. Applications received after that date will be accepted and evaluated for future rounds of funding.

 

 

Program Description Application Cutoff Date Additional Documents
General EQIP Owners of land in agricultural or forest production, or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land that have a natural resource concern on the land may participate in EQIP.  Additionally, owners of private agricultural land or non-industrial private forestland that are interested in developing or improving wildlife may participate in EQIP.   November 18, 2016

General EQIP Program Policy (Coming Soon)

Ranking Categories and Questions

Organic Initiative The EQIP Organic Initiative provides assistance to eligible applicants to install conservation practices on agricultural operations related to organic production such as certified organic producers, producers transitioning to organic production, and certification exempt producers according to the USDA-National Organic Program. November 18, 2016

Organic Initiative Program Policy (Coming Soon)

Producer Self Certification Form 

Organic Certified Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)

Organic Transition Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)

High Tunnel Initiative The purpose of the High Tunnel Initiative is to assist producers to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. The practice has the potential to assist producers to address resource concerns by improving plant quality, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport. November 18, 2016

High Tunnel Program Policy (Coming Soon)

High Tunnel Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)
On-Farm Energy Initiative The EQIP On-Farm Energy Initiative assists producers by identifying ways to conserve energy on the farm through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit; and by providing financial and technical assistance to help the producer implement recommendations and conservation practices identified in the audit plan. November 18, 2016

On-Farm Energy Initiative Program Policy (Coming Soon)

On-Farm Energy Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)

On-Farm Energy Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)
National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)

The National Water Quality Initiative is a focused approach to assist landowners in priority watersheds to apply selected conservation practices to reduce the flow of sediment, nutrients and other runoff into impaired waterways.

The FY17 priority watersheds are:

Upper Troublesome Creek in Knox and Lewis Counties, HUC 071100030202

Givins Branch-Niangua River in Webster and Dallas Counties, HUC 102901100103

Basin Fork in Pettis and Johnson Counties, HUC 103001030202
November 18, 2016

Givins Branch-Niangua River in Dallas and Webster Counties 

Basin Fork in Pettis and Johnson Counties 

Upper Troublesome Creek in Knox and Lewis Counties 

NWQI Program Policy (Coming Soon)

Givins Branch-Niangua River Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)

Basin Fork Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)

Upper Troublesome Creek Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)

Missouri Ozark Highlands Restoration Partnership (OHRP) The Missouri Ozark Restoration Partnership provides financial assistance to help landowners improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where Mark Twain National Forest and private lands meet in southern Missouri.   Eligible landowners in the following Missouri counties can participate in this initiative; Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Christian, Crawford, Dent, Douglas, Howell, Iron, Laclede, Madison, Oregon, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Wayne, and Wright. November 18, 2016

OHRP Program Policy (Coming Soon)

OHRP Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)

Map of Project Area
Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project The Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project provides financial and technical assistance to Missouri farmers, ranchers and landowners interested in restoring and/or establishing habitat benefiting Monarch Butterflies.  You can read more about NRCS’ Monarch Butterfly Project here. November 18, 2016

Monarch Project Program Policy (Coming Soon)

Monarch Project Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)
Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) Seven Missouri watersheds are among those selected in 13 states along the Mississippi River as part of continuing Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) efforts. November 18, 2016 MRBI Program Policies for all projects in Missouri.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) RCPP promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners through partnership agreements and through EQIP program contracts.   November 18, 2016 RCPP Program Policies for all projects in Missouri
Edge of Field Water Quality Monitoring The Edge of Field Water Quality Monitoring project is an effort to help farmers improve and/or verify the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices and systems on their farm fields. As part of the project, monitoring equipment will be installed to evaluate the quality of water draining from a farm field. Funding is provided for both monitoring system installation and also collecting and evaluating the data. Farmers will work with a monitoring professional (private or public) as well as NRCS on this project. TBD

Edge of Field Program Policy (Coming Soon)

Edge of Field Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)

General EQIP Ranking Questions by Land Use Subaccounts

Cropland, Forestland, Pasture/Hayland, Wildlife, Animal Feeding/Waste, Soil Health-Cropland, Soil Health-Pasture, and Agroforestry Land Use Applications

Applications in each of these separate land uses will be evaluated for funding with other eligible applications in that same land use. Some land use subaccounts are statewide, some are area-wide, and some are based on multi-county areas (called Field Office Service Areas – FOSAs).  For each subaccount, the national questions have been developed by national staff.  The state questions were developed based on input from the State Technical Committee, conservation partners and NRCS technical and program staffs. The local questions are based on FOSA or area-wide compilations from each county’s Local Work Group in that specific area. Applicants who provide a written request and qualify for funds targeted to Beginning Farmer/Rancher (BF) and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer/Rancher (SDF) will compete on a statewide basis with similar (BF or SDF) applicants under the applicable Land Use.

Eligible applicants requesting EQIP financial assistance for practices associated with animal feeding/waste facilities must have a current Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) that references the installation of the animal feeding/waste practices on the acres requesting assistance, prior to NRCS providing technical or financial assistance. An applicant may request EQIP financial assistance to use an approved independent third-party provider for development of a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan for all waste-generating animals and waste management operations under their control. Information about third-party technical assistance is available at USDA TechReg. Eligible EQIP Animal Feeding/Waste (AF/W) applications will compete for funds on a statewide basis.

2014 FOSA Map

Click on the map to enlarge and view Missouri NRCS Administrative Areas 

2016 FOSA Map Click on the map to enalrge and view Missouri NRCS Field Office Service Areas (FOSAs).

 

General EQIP Land Use Subaccounts Extent Ranking Questions (Coming Soon)
Cropland FOSA FOSA 1a, FOSA 1b, FOSA 1c, FOSA 1d, FOSA 1e, FOSA 1f, FOSA 1g, FOSA 1h, FOSA 2a, FOSA 2b, FOSA 2c, FOSA 2d, FOSA 2e, FOSA 2f, FOSA 2g, FOSA 2h, FOSA 3a, FOSA 3b, FOSA 3c, FOSA 3d, FOSA 3e, FOSA 3f, FOSA 3g, FOSA 4a, FOSA 4b, FOSA 4c, FOSA 4d, FOSA 4e, FOSA 4f, FOSA 4g, FOSA 4h
Cropland Beginning Farmer (BF) Statewide Cropland BF
Cropland Socially Disadvantaged Farmer (SDF) Statewide Cropland SDF
Forestland Area Wide Area 2, Area 2, Area 3, Area 4
Forestland Beginning Farmer (BF) Statewide Forestland BF
Forestland Socially Disadvantaged Farmer (SDF) Statewide Forestland SDF
Forestland Conservation Activity Plan (CAP Statewide Forestland CAP
Pasture/Hayland Area Wide Area 1, Area 2, Area 3, Area 4
Pasture/Hayland Beginning Farmer (BF) Statewide Pasture/Hayland BF
Pasture/Hayland Socially Disadvantaged Farmer (SDF) Statewide Pasture/Hayland SDF
Wildlife Area Wide Area 1, Area 2, Area 3, Area 4
Wildlife Beginning Farmer (BF) Statewide Wildlife BF
Wildlife Socially Disadvantaged Farmer (SDF) Statewide Wildlife SDF
Animal Feeding/Waste Statewide Animal Feeding/Waste
Animal Feeding/Waste Beginning Farmer (BF) Statewide Animal Feeding/Waste BF
Animal Feeding/Waste Socially Disadvantaged Farmer (SDF) Statewide Animal Feeding/Waste SDF
Animal Feeding/Waste Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) Statewide Animal Feeding/Waste CAP
Soil Health-Cropland Statewide Soil Health-Cropland
Soil Health-Pasture Statewide Soil Health-Pasture
Agroforestry Statewide Agroforestry

 

Missouri EQIP Contact Information

 

Curt McDaniel, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
USDA NRCS State Office
Parkade Center, Suite 250
601 Business Loop, 70 West
Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: 573-876-9363

Lauren A. Cartwright
USDA NRCS State Office, EQIP Program Coordinator
Parkade Center, Suite 250
601 Business Loop, 70 West
Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: 573-876-9415

National EQIP Information