NRCS is currently accepting applications. The next evaluation period ends on February 21, 2014. Depending on fund availability and demand another evaluation period may be offered for FY 2014.
The intent of the Energy Initiative offered through EQIP is to identify ways to conserve energy on producer’s farms by offering financial assistance in developing an Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP’s), also known as an on-farm energy audit, and to provide assistance to producers who wish to implement energy savings conservation.
Technical and Financial Assistance
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - Energy Initiative signup, Agricultural producers may apply for financial assistance to acquire technical expertise in developing a Landscape or Headquarters Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP) or to implement certain conservation measures that will reduce energy inputs on farm.
Conservation measures are:
Irrigation water management.
Agricultural Energy Management Plan - Headquarters
Agricultural Energy Management Plan - Landscape
Growers may not receive EQIP payments for conservation work they have already undertaken.
EQIP Organic Initiative Practices and Payment Rates
Assistance through the EQIP Organic Initiative helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to allow their organic operations to be environmentally sustainable. EQIP is primarily used to provide financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices to improve soil and water quality and plant animal, and energy resources. Assistance is for conservation practices related to organic production and is limited to $20,000 per year and $80,000 during a six year period.
Eligible practices include such measures as: Pest Management, Nutrient Management, Conservation Crop Rotation, Prescribed Grazing, Cover Crops, Forage Harvest Management, and more, including Seasonal High Tunnels.