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EQIP Conservation Activity Plans

Producers Hawaiian NRCS Graphicmay apply for financial assistance through EQIP to develop a specialty plan called a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) to address certain land use activities or specific resource needs on their land. A CAP combines specific land use objectives associated with a renewable resource with a comprehensive management plan that addresses all of the natural resource concerns within an agriculture or forestry operation. The purpose of a CAP is to outline a combination of vegetative, structural, and/or management practices necessary to protect and sustain natural resources on agricultural and forest landscapes, and to serve as a blueprint for future implementation of conservation practices.

A CAP is developed by a Technical Service Provider (TSP), which is a technical consultant approved to develop the plans to NRCS standards and specifications. The producer may apply to receive financial assistance to hire a TSP to develop a plan for their land. For more information about TSP services, visit the national TSP website.

Typically, these plans are specific to certain kinds of land use or to address a specific resource need. With a CAP plan, producers can then apply for financial assistance to implement the needed conservation practices. Example CAP plans may address:

  • Transitioning to organic operations
  • Grazing Management
  • Forest Management
  • Pollinator Habitat
  • Nutrient Management
  • Integrated Pest Management for Herbicide Resistant Weed Conservation

Conservation Activity Plans are authorized through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and the EQIP eligibility requirements apply.

How do I Find a Technical Service Provider?

Visit the national TSP website to learn more about the CAP services provided by TSPs, TSPs available within your state, and how to become a certified TSP.

How Does Signup for EQIP Work?

irrigation in blueberries

EQIP applications can be submitted anytime during the year. EQIP has a continuous sign-up with application cut-off dates to rank and prioritize any new or unfunded applications. A signed application can be filed with the local NRCS office at any time. View Current Funding Opportunities for current application periods. A signed application indicates an interest in developing a conservation plan, the first step in the application process.

EQIP is a competitive program that uses an evaluation and ranking process to assess the needs and cost effectiveness of implementing the conservation plan. Applications are grouped for competitive ranking into "funding pools" with the highest ranked applications in each pool selected for contract development. Funding pools that NRCS has established have been cropland, irrigated cropland, livestock, and forestland. View the application documents page for more information on ranking tools.

Contract offers that include practices to address soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, reduced animal waste production and reduced energy consumption are high priority.

Visit Opportunities for Historically Underserved Producers in New Jersey to learn more about how NRCS is committed to ensuring that its programs and services are accessible to all our customers, fairly and equitably, with emphasis on reaching the under served and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and tribes of our state.


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