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On Farm Energy Initiative

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.

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 374 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

  • 122 Agricultural Energy Management Plan - Headquarters
  • 124 Agricultural Energy Management Plan - Landscape
  • 374 Farmstead Energy Improvement
  • 380 Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment
  • 449 Irrigation Water Management
  • 533 Pumping Plant

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.

Ranking Periods

Farm Bill Evaluation Periods for Fiscal Year 2015

Applications for financial assistance are accepted year-round. NRCS has established four ranking periods for FY2015:

Ranking Period 1: Forestry Applications received by close of business on November 21, 2014
Ranking Period 2: All Applications received by close of business on December 19, 2014
Ranking Period 3: All Applications received by close of business on January 16, 2015
Ranking Period 4: All Applications received by close of business on February 20, 2015

On Farm Energy Payment Schedules and Ranking Tools

The following documents require Acrobat Reader.  If you encounter any problems with the files provided on this page, please contact Ron Wood at (804) 287-1660.

FY15 EQIP Payment Schedule (pdf, 128kb)

Energy Ranking Summary (PDF; 44 KB) 


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.

This document requires Adobe Reader.

NRCS-CPA-1200 Conservation Program Application (PDF; 40 KB)

For more information, contact your local USDA Service Center, or visit the USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program Web site.

Visti the National NRCS Energy Website

If you encounter problems with this Web page, please contact the Webmaster at 804-287-1660.