How EQIP Works 2011
How EQIP Works in South Carolina
Details about signup, eligible practices and cost share ratesare announced each year. NRCS evaluates each application, with higher priorities given to applications that use cost-effective conservation practices,address local priorities and provide the most environmental benefit.
Farmers will develop a conservation plan, if they don’t already have one,for the acreage affected by the EQIP practices. Conservation practices must meet NRCS technical standards. Farmers may elect to use an approved third-party provider for technical assistance, if available.
The major resource concerns targeted by EQIP in South Carolina are components ofthe national priorities and measures outlined by the National NRCS Office. Those national concerns are reduction of nonpoint source pollutants, reduction of emissions, reduction in soil erosion and sedimentation, ground and surface water conservation, and promotion of the conservation of at risk species. All EQIP contracts should document an existing resource concern.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, and/or the Farm Service Agency determine eligible producers for the EQIP program. Any farmer engaged in forestry, livestock or crop production on eligible land may apply for EQIP. EQIP contracts may be for a field, tract, farm or multiple farms. Eligible land includes cropland; rangeland; pasture; private non-industrial forestland; and other farm or ranch lands, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.
Counties will receive EQIP allocations based on ranking scores for applications in statewide ranking pools and applications in watershed ranking pools. This will be done by the Assistant State Conservationist for Programs in April 2011 when the state's funds are received.
Program Payment Limits
EQIPwill pay up to 75 percent of the costs of eligible conservation practices. Historically underserved farmers receive 90 percent cost share.
Decision Making Process for EQIP
Input from Outside Groups, Agencies and Citizens: In South Carolina the list of eligible practices, cost share rates and limits, and scoring criteria were developedbased on input and recommendations from the South Carolina State Technical Committee (SCSTC). The SCSTC is made up of representatives from various agribusinesses, producer groups, conservation organizations and federal, state and tribal government agency representatives.
The SCSTC receives input on factors affecting the program from the Local Work Groups (LWG). The LWG is made up of county agency staff. Landowners may provide advice and information to the LWG as part of the locally led process.
A ranking tool will prioritize applications based on the resource concerns that each county selected. The tool ranks applications on a watershed wide basis, not statewide.
Assistant State Conservationist (P)
Phone: (803) 765-5681