Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

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FY 2015 Information and Applications

The application deadline for FY 2015 funding consideration is January 16, 2015.

EQIP has a continuous sign-up period.  Applications will be accepted at any time of the year.  Applications received up to a certain date are evaluated and ranked for funding assistance.  All applications received by that date will be evaluated and considered for funding.  


The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that helps producers install measures to protect the soil, water, air, and other natural resources while ensuring sustainable production on their farms, ranches and working forest lands. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers EQIP funding and provides participants with professional conservation expertise.

Technical and Financial Assistance

Those who submit an application and are accepted into EQIP may receive payments to offset costs associated with materials and installation of conservation Practices. Practices funded through EQIP may include such measures as: manure management practices, pest management treatments, irrigation systems improvements, forest stewardship plans and management practices, erosion control and buffers, range and pasture planting, fencing and stockwater, and a number of other practices.

Through EQIP, NRCS may also provide or cover the cost of professional technical services to design the selected measures. This includes: on-site assessments, site-specific practice and management plans, and engineering designs. Program "Payment Rates", Costlists and Conservation Practice Scenarios are available in Section 1 of the FOTG. (NM/Any County/Section 1/Cost Data/2015)

Practice Payment Rates for Historically Underserved Clients: EQIP provides higher practice payment rates to agricultural producers (individuals, joint operations or entities) who qualify as a Beginning Farmer-Rancher, a Socially Disadvantaged Farmer-Rancher, or Limited Resource Farmer-Rancher. An individual, joint operation or entity which self-certifies they meet the criteria for any of the above designations will be eligible to receive a higher financial assistance payment for contracted practices, if selected for a contract. Participants may be required to provide certain tax documents  to verify eligibility as a Limited Resource or Beginning Farmer or Rancher. Click here for more information on Historically Underserved Clients.

EQIP Sign-up Options

Agricultural producers and private, non-industrial forest landowners may submit an EQIP application for financial and technical assistance for conservation measures through one of the options listed below. For each sign-up option, applicants must meet basic EQIP Eligibility Requirements.

Click on the sign-up options below to find more information about each, including eligible practices,  and application evaluation and ranking criteria. Program "Payment Rates" and Costlists are available in Section 1 of the FOTG.  (NM/Any County/Section 1/Cost Data/2015)

EQIP Sign-up Options
Click on each sign-up option below for more information, including practices and payment rates.
Next Application Batch Date(s)
General EQIP EQIP applications may be submitted at any time with your local USDA Service Center. For more information, see “Technical and Financial Assistance” below. Jan. 16, 2015
EQIP Organic Initiative Special EQIP funding is available to certified organic growers and those transitioning to organic production. A wide suite of practices are available to address a host of resource concerns. Jan. 16, 2015
New Mexico Watershed Initiative Watersheds with high priority resource concerns have been approved to receive funds held in a funding pool at the state level. Jan. 16, 2015
New Mexico Small Farms and Ranches Initiative New Mexico sets aside a portion of EQIP funding for producers who meet certain acreage and income requirements. Jan. 16, 2015
Conservation Activity Plan Financial assistance will be provided to agricultural producers who want to obtain a conservation activity plan from a NRCS approved (private) Technical Service Provider (TSP).  Open All Year
Lesser Prairie Chicken Producers engaged in grazing operations with leks, or the potential for leks, are encouraged to apply for EQIP financial assistance.  This initiative is intended to assist with ongoing recovery efforts for this species of concern.  The initiative is available to producers in Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, Roosevelt and Quay counties. Jan. 16, 2015
Ogallala Aquifer Initiative Funds are available in selected counties (Curry, Lea, Quay, Roosevelt and Union) to turn off pumps using water from the Ogallala Aquifer, in an attempt to sustain the aquifer.  Producers can seed their land to permanent vegetation and also enhance wildlife habitat. Jan. 16, 2015
On-Farm Energy Initiative Special EQIP funding is available to agricultural producers prepared to implement specific practices with energy benefits, including irrigation improvements, Farmstead energy improvements, Tillage management, Pumping plant improvements, and more Jan. 16, 2015
Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative Special EQIP funding is available to agricultural producers prepared to erect new seasonal high tunnels and possibly implement specific associated practices. Jan. 16, 2015
National Water Quality Initiative Funding to assist producers to address high priority water resource concerns in selected small watersheds. Jan. 16, 2015
Drought Recovery Funds to assist producers implement practices which will help mitigate the effects of the years long drought TBD
New Mexico Acequia Initiative Funding to assist multiple landowners receiving irrigation water from a legally organized acequia association to plan, design and install irrigation conveyance improvements and associated components. Jan. 16, 2015

*CCPI and AWEP were not re-authorized under the Agricultural Act of 2014.

Application Information

Interested applicants are encouraged to begin working with their local NRCS office well in advance of the current application cutoff date. The application process can be involved and time consuming.  Submitting an application does not obligate an individual to sign a contract.

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

NRCS application forms can also be found on the USDA Service Center EForms Web Site.

2015 Application Evaluation and Selection

EQIP sign-up applications are evaluated and ranked for available funding based on local program priorities.  The criteria is slightly different from one county to another.  To view local ranking criteria, visit the 2015 New Mexico EQIP - Application Evaluation and Selection Web site.

More Information

The following document requires Adobe Acrobat.

New Mexico Environmental Quality Incentives Program Fact Sheet (PDF, 110 KB)


New Mexico Field Office Technical Guide

National EQIP Information

State Technical Committee

Previous New Mexico EQIP Web Pages


Please contact the District Conservationist in the USDA Service Center nearest the location of your property.

Michael Neubeiser
State Program Manager
(505) 761-4419