Tennessee EQIP Application Information
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How EQIP Works in Tennessee
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a continuous sign-up program that offers financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install and maintain conservation practices, including those related to organic production, on agricultural land or private nonindustrial forestland.
Details about sign up for EQIP are announced each year; applications can be made at the local USDA Service Center.
Applicants must pass the Tennessee EQIP Screening Tool in order to be ranked for the competitive contract-funding selection process. A contract containing an EQIP Plan of Operations that identifies the appropriate conservation practice or measures needed to address the resource concerns will be developed on applications that are accepted into the program. The practices are subject to NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions. If approved for funding, the participant must begin implementation of at least one practice within the first 12 months and continue practice implementation according to the contract schedule.
EQIP provides payment rates for each practice. Payment rates are higher for certain historically underserved producers (limited resource farmers/ranchers, beginning farmers/ranchers, veteran beginning farmers/ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers). Farmers and ranchers may elect to use a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) for technical assistance needed for certain eligible activities and services. The 2014 Farm Bill established a payment limitation for individuals or legal entity participants who may not receive, directly or indirectly, payments that, in the aggregate, exceed $450,000 for all program contracts entered during any six year period.
EQIP Application Information
The NRCS in Tennessee has implemented a local process that streamlines the application and evaluation procedures. The State Technical Advisory Committee and Local Work Groups (LWG) have recommended conservation practices eligible for financial assistance and ranking questions that will be used to evaluate applications in each fund code. All applications will be ranked using national, state and local questions.
The complete list of 2014 EQIP conservation practices is available. Check with the local NRCS Field Office for specific LWG conservation practice priorities.
2014 EQIP General Program Description Documents
Links to National Conservation Initiatives
National Water Quality Initiative
National Organic Initiative
Mississippi River Basin Initiative
National Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative
National On-Farm Energy Initiative
Tennessee Mississippi River Basin Initiative Watersheds
2014 Requirement Sheets
2014 Tennessee Ranking Tools
MHTML documents will be downloaded to your computer; after downloading, they can be opened. To view the following documents in Adobe Acrobat format, click here for a free reader.
2014 Payment Schedules
How to Apply for EQIP
Note: Confidential and private information: Many of the program application forms and/or documents require the applicant to provide sensitive contact, financial or other confidential information. Disclosure of this data is voluntary, but failure to provide the required information in a timely manner may result in the deferral of an application or denial of a benefit payment. By law and policy, confidential, private and sensitive information is protected by USDA. Employees and agency partners are subject to penalty and disciplinary action for inappropriate or mismanagement of private data.
The screening tool is required for all applications. It consists of three questions and the criteria for answering the questions. A “no” answer to even one of the questions will cause an application to be put in deferred status until all questions can be answered yes. Applications in deferred status will not be ranked or funded.
Contact the USDA service center in the county where the land is located to apply for EQIP. Producers are advised to review eligibility requirements and update of farm records administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to make sure all records are current and correct before submitting an EQIP application. Producers who submit incomplete applications or whose farm records and certifications are not up to date may be deferred for current year program application. Specific application documents are listed on the Tennessee FY 2014 EQIP Screening Tool.
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