FY10 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
FY10 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) -
Applications due February 15, 2010 for Conservation Funding
Utah agricultural landowners and operators are encouraged to submit 2010
applications by February 15 to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service for
participation in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Wildlife
Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)
Program. These programs are offered through a continuous signup but NRCS
periodically makes funding selections as program dollars allow.
EQIP, WHIP and AMA were originally established under the 1996 Farm Bill and are
reauthorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. These programs provide technical and
financial assistance to landowners to voluntarily address soil, water and
related natural resource concerns on agricultural lands. Congress included new
provisions in the 2008 Farm Bill setting aside 5 percent of EQIP financial
assistance dollars to assist beginning farmers and another 5 percent to assist
socially disadvantaged farmers.
Historically underserved producers, such as a member of a Socially Disadvantaged
Group (American Indians, Blacks, Asians, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and
Hispanics), Beginning or Limited Resource Farmers, and Indian tribes may be
eligible for up to 90 percent of the average cost of practices.
About the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary
conservation program that provides assistance to landowners and agricultural
producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental
quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers receive
financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management
conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working
agricultural land. EQIP is re-authorized through the
With EQIP, NRCS provides funding and expertise for measures to protect
natural resources while ensuring sustainable production on farms, ranches and
working forest lands.
EQIP Signup Opportunities in Utah
Those who are interested in EQIP should work with the local NRCS office to
identify and plan the conservation measures you want on your land. Those who
have previously developed a conservation plan with NRCS will already have the
conservation planning step completed. Those who consider applying for EQIP for
the first time should schedule a meeting with NRCS to discuss their options and
develop a conservation plan before moving forward.
Local NRCS conservationists will help you develop a conservation plan,
identify conservation measures and pursue funding through one of the EQIP signup
options available in Utah.
||2010 Application Cutoff
||EQIP applications may be submitted at any
time with your local USDA Service Center. For more information, see “Technical
and Financial Assistance” below.
||February 15, 2010
EQIP Organic Initiative
||Special EQIP funding is available to
organic growers and those transitioning to organic production.
Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)
||Through AWEP, entities such as federally
recognized Indian Tribes, States, units of local government, agricultural or
silvicultural associations, or other such groups may propose partnership
agreements to work with NRCS to deliver EQIP funding to landowners and growers
in a targeted area.
How EQIP Works in Utah
Utah State NRCS supports the locally led conservation effort in the delivery
of conservation programs. The USDA local work group (LWG) serves as the starting
point for the development and coordination of USDA programs to provide an
integrated approach for addressing local natural resource concerns.
The LWG ensures that a conservation needs assessment is developed using
community stakeholders input. Utilizing the assessment process, the LWG
identifies resource concerns, recommends practices, priorities, payment rates,
cost-share levels and funding needs. The group assists in multi-county
coordination when resource concerns will be addressed across county boundaries.
The LWG information is solicited by the District Conservationists each year.
Following the submittals of LWG proposals, the Soil Conservation Districts
convene LWG meetings to review requests and make recommendations on ranking
criteria, eligible practices and funding. These recommendations are given to the
DC. The DC reviews these with the State Conservationist.
The State Conservationist conducts State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC)
Meeting and Tribal STAC meetings to gather input from all agriculture groups,
federal, state and local agencies. Recommendations on what are Utah’s resource
concerns and methods to treat them are submitted to the State Conservationist.
The State Conservationist appoints subcommittees to provide specific solutions
to specific resource concerns.