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Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – North Carolina

EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.


Eligible program participants receive financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices, or activities like conservation planning, that address natural resource concerns on their land. Payments are made to participants after conservation practices and activities identified in an EQIP plan of operations are implemented. Contracts can last up to ten years in duration.

What's New in EQIP?

  • The former Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program was folded into EQIP
  • Advance payment opportunities now exist for veteran agricultural producers
  • Advance payments for socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans were raised from 30 percent to 50 percent


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.

Socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans are eligible for an increased payment rate and may receive advance payment of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.

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.

Learn more about -  

Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning Farmers, Veteran Farmers

National program information, fact sheets, and other information
Agricultural Water Enhancement Program
Conservation Activity Plans

National EQIP Initiatives Offered in North Carolina

The table below identifies the national initiatives supported by EQIP that may be available to producers engaged in specific kinds of agricultural activities, located in specific geographic locations, or opportunities associated with agency approved initiatives.

Program Name Program Description

On-Farm Energy 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 conservation practices recommended in these on-farm energy audits.

Organic Initiative

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for organic producers and those transitioning to organic to address natural resource concerns

It also helps growers meet requirements related to National Organic Program (NOP) requirements and certain program payment limitations.

National Water Quality Initiative

Helps farmers and ranchers implement conservation systems to reduce nitrogen, phosphorous, sediment and pathogen contributions from agricultural land in specific approved watershed. Contact your local NRCS field office to see if you are eligible.

Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

Helps producers plan and implement seasonal high tunnels, which are steel-framed, polyethylene-covered structures that extend growing seasons in an environmentally safe manner.


top of a longleaf pine tree at sunsetLongleaf Pine Initiative (LLPI)

Enhancing critical wildlife habitat and improving the health, sustainability and profitability of privately owned Longleaf pine forests in the southeastern United States.


EQIP Conservation Practice and Ranking Documents

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Excel

2014 Payment Schedule, EQIP (PDF) (Last Modified 12/13/2013)

2014 Payment Schedule, Energy (PDF) (Last Modified 12/13/2013)

North Carolina Forms

SF-1199A Direct Deposit Sign-up Form  

W-9 Tax Form - Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (fillable)  (PDF; 75 KB) (Last Modified 8/22/2007) 

Application Form NRCS-CPA-1200 (PDF; 95 KB) (Last Modified 2/2014)

Program Contact

Greg Walker, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 919-873-2104