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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 the following website:  Get started with NRCS national page.

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.

To apply for EQIP, contact your local service center.

Fiscal Year 2015 EQIP Deadlines

Funding Pools Descriptions Application Batching Deadlines
General EQIP   November 21, 2014
Beginning Farmer/Rancher The primary focus of this funding pool is to assist beginning farmers and ranchers address resource concerns on their operations December 19, 2014
February 20, 2015
March 20, 2015
Statewide Socially Disadvantaged Farmer/Rancher The primary focus of this funding pool is to assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers address resource concerns on their operations December 19, 2014
February 20, 2015
March 20, 2015
Organic Initiative This Initiative provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for organic producers or those transitioning to organic. The initiative addresses natural resource concerns and also helps growers meet requirements related to National Organic (NOP) requirements. January 16, 2015
March 20, 2015
April 17, 2015
On-Farm Energy Initiative This Initiative enables the producer to identify ways to conserve energy on the farm through two types of Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP) for headquarters and/or for landscape, also known as an on-farm energy audit (headquarters and/or landscape); and by providing financial and technical assistance to help the producer implement various measures and practices recommended in these on-farm energy audits. To Be Announced
Longleaf Pine Initiative (LLPI) This Initiative provides producers in approved areas with assistance to manage, restore, or enhance the historic longleaf pine forest landscape on private lands. January 16, 2015
March 20, 2014
April 17, 2015
Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative The purpose of the Seasonal High Tunnel System for crops 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. January 16, 2015
March 20, 2015
April 17, 2015
Conservation Activity Plans (CAP) EQIP funding is available for the development of a Conservation Activity Plan (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 as a plan for management of nutrients Taken on a continuous basis
Statewide Wildlife A priority of EQIP is for the promotion of at-risk species habitat conservation. The Wildlife Habitat Conservation funding pool is available to producers who will restore, develop, or enhance wildlife habitat. January 16, 2015
March 20, 2015
April 17, 2015
Master Farmer - Statewide The purpose of this state initiative is to assist participants of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program in implementing practices within their existing Resource Management System (RMS) - Conservation Plan and addressing identified resource concerns. January 16, 2015
March 20, 2015
April 17, 2015
Working Land for Wildlife (WLFW) - Gopher Tortoise Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) - Gopher Tortoise is a joint effort between NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that assists agricultural producers and forest land managers in creating, enhancing and managing Gopher Tortoise habitat. January 16, 2015
March 20, 2015
April 17, 2015
Strikeforce Working with farmers and ranchers in communities that face persistent poverty.  The purpose is to help make their operations become more sustainable while their conservation practices help promote clean air and water, healthy soil, wildlife habitat and resistance to extreme weather events, such as drought. To Be Announced
Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI) Through MBHI, farmers and ranchers and other landowners manage portions of their land to enhance habitat for migratory birds. Projects provide food and critical habitat for bird populations; much-needed water during drought; support for local economies by attracting hunters and bird watchers; and new opportunities to improve wildlife management. To Be Announced
National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) The NWQI offers financial and technical assistance to farmers and forest landowners interested in improving water quality and aquatic habitats in priority watersheds with impaired streams. February 20, 2015
April 17, 2015
May 29, 2015


To apply for EQIP, contact your local service center.

Louisiana EQIP Funding Pools and Ranking Documents

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:

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

Additional restricts and program requirements may apply.

Note:  Starting a practice prior to written contract approval will result in the ineligibility of that practice for EQIP assistance.

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 and follow the eligibility and contractual requirements outlined in the NRCS-CPA-1202 apprendix.

Participants that operate as an entity using an EIN are required to obtain a DUNS number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM).  SAM is also referred to as CCR.  Click here for additional information.

Socially Disadvantage, 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.

Louisiana 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.  See the Small & Limited and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers page for the NRCS definition of the historically underserved.

National 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:

  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Water Conservation
  • Air Quality
  • Soil Health
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Plant and Animal Communities
  • Energy Conservation

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQI) points of contact

Name Position Office Phone Email Address
Tim Landreneau Assistant State Conservationist/Programs 318-473-7759 tim.landreneau@la.usda.gov
Ronnie Maurer State Program Specialist 318-473-7674 ronnie.maurer@la.usda.gov