EQIP Signup and Application Information
EQIP Signup Documents
Interested agricultural producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands may apply in person at any USDA Service Center. Applicants may also request EQIP assistance by telephone, FAX, e-mail, or letter. The FY 2013 EQIP application period is continuous throughout the year. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. A signed application form CCC-1200 (see below) must be submitted to be considered for fiscal year 2012 funds. Application forms and additional signup information can be obtained from your local USDA Service Center or NRCS Field Office.
Visit the USDA Service Center eForms Web Site for instructions and information.
Application Ranking and Selection Process
Applications for EQIP are accepted on a continuous basis, however, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" or submission deadline dates for evaluation and ranking of eligible applications. Once an application is received by NRCS:
NRCS will contact the applicant to conduct an evaluation and ranking of the application.
The application will be ranked against all of the other applications within the local work group area/county or tribal area. Applications received to address resource concerns related to confined livestock operations will be ranked in a statewide pool.
NRCS will notify the applicant in writing of selection, deferment, or cancellation of the EQIP application.
If selected for funding, the contract development process will be initiated.
Applicants selected for funding are not authorized to begin the installation of a conservation practice until they have a CCC-1202 Conservation Program Contract, signed by a CCC representative (NRCS Contracting Officer).
The Ranking Templates used to rank EQIP applications include questions that address various resource concerns and range from Water Quality and Water Quantity to Soil Erosion and Plant/Animal Health. The more resource concerns that are being addressed the higher the applicant's score. Once all applications have been ranked the allocation process will begin with the highest scoring applications funded, until all the funds have been exhausted.
IMPORTANT EQIP INFORMATION FOR PRODUCERS
A practice must be started within the first 12 months of a signed contract.
An EQIP contract stays with the land. Therefore, to prevent the possibility of having to pay liquidated damages &/or cost recovery, a participant wishing to terminate an EQIP contract due to land sale must acquire a Successor-In-Interest, through proper documentation, to transfer the contract to the new land owner.
Several practices are included in the program to address resource concerns. Among them are: waste storage facilities, manure transfer, pipeline watering facilities for livestock, irrigation, waterways, hillside ditches, filter strips, contour farming, buffers, and wildlife habitat. Conservation Practices must meet NRCS technical standards. The participant will receive technical assistance for the planning and implementation of the conservation practices. Copies of the lists of approved practices for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands can be obtained from your local USDA Service Center or NRCS Field Office.
Local Participation and Work Groups
NRCS supports the locally-led conservation effort in the delivery of conservation programs. The USDA Local Work Group (LWG) serves as the starting point in the development and coordination of programs to provide and integral approach for addressing local natural resource concerns. The LWG ensures that the conservation needs assessment is developed using community stakeholder input. Utilizing the assessment process, the LWG identifies resource concerns, recommends practices, priorities, payment rates, cost-share levels and funding needs.
For More Information
For more information on this year's program or prior years' ranking criteria or cost lists, please contact the EQIP program manager, José A. Castro, at 787-766-5206 Ext. 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact your local USDA Service Center or NRCS Field Office or visit the National NRCS website at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ for more information.
José A. Castro, Assistant State Conservationist, at 787-766-5206 x. 117