On-Farm Energy Initiative

Applications for all USDA NRCS programs are accepted on a continuous basis with application batching dates set regularly. The application batching date for Fiscal Year 2013 EQIP On-Farm Energy Initiative is November 16, 2012. Batching dates will be posted here when they are established.

The 2008 Farm Bill provides authority to use the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to address energy conservation on agricultural operations. During 2012, the EQIP Energy Initiative is designed to assist producers in two ways:

  1. Identify ways to conserve energy on farms through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit.
  2. Provide assistance to implement various recommended measures through the use of eligible conservation practices, such as the Farmstead Energy Improvement practice.

A professional energy auditor gathering information from a farmer

All AgEMPs must be developed by a Technical Service Provider (TSP). A directory of TSPs can be found at the

TechReg Web page. Development of the Conservation Activity Plan must be complete within 12 months of the contract obligation and contract lengths are typically limited to two years.

Note: Applying for the Farmstead Energy Improvement conservation practice requires an energy audit before an applicant can apply for that practice. This is the only conservation practice where the energy audit is a prerequisite.

Eligible Conservation Practices

View a list of eligible conservation practices.

Funding is available for two separate energy AgEMPs or on-farm energy audits. One plan can be developed for the farm headquarters area and another plan is available for the landscape or field areas of an agriculture operation.

The AgEMP (Headquarters) will be individually tailored to ensure coverage of the primary energy use areas on the farm headquarters, such as milk cooling, irrigation pumping, heating and cooling of livestock production facilities, manure collection and transfer, and other common on-farm activities.

The AgEMP (Landscape) determines and documents current energy usage, over the past annual cycle, and provides cost-effective alternatives and recommendations for energy conservation.

The evaluation of energy conservation activities shall include energy used in the cultivation, protection, and harvesting of agricultural crops.

How to Apply for USDA-NRCS Conservation Programs

Learn what steps you will need to take to prepare for, and submit, your application to become a USDA-NRCS Conservation Program participant.

Learn more information on the criteria required to become an eligible EQIP applicant.

More Information

Five Steps to AssistanceTo learn how to get started with NRCS.

Service Center Locator

Find your local USDA Service Center.


USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program

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