Environmental Quality Incentives Program
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts up to a maximum term of ten years in length. These contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. In addition, a purpose of EQIP is to help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations.
Who Can Apply
Owners of land in agricultural or forest production or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and that have a natural resource concern on the land may participate in EQIP.
How EQIP Works
EQIP provides financial assistance payments to eligible producers based on a portion of the average cost associated with practice implementation. Additional payments may be available to help producers develop conservation plans which are required to obtain financial assistance.
Historically underserved producers (limited resource farmers/ranchers, beginning farmers/ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, Tribes) may be eligible for a higher practice payment rate for the implementation for conservation practices and conservation plans.
Producers may use a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) for technical assistance needed for certain eligible activities, services and the development of conservation plans. Historically underserved producers may also be eligible for advance payments up to 30 percent of the cost needed to purchase materials or contracting services to begin installation of approved conservation practices.
NRCS works with the producer to develop a plan of operations that:
Identifies the appropriate conservation practice or measures needed to address identified natural resource concerns
Implements conservation practices and activities according to an EQIP plan of operations developed in conjunction with the producer that identifies the appropriate conservation practice or measures needed to address identified natural resource concerns. The practices are subject to NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions.
Participants may not receive, directly or indirectly, payments that, in the aggregate, exceed $300,000 for all EQIP contracts entered into during any six-year period. Participants whose projects NRCS determines to have special environmental significance may petition the NRCS Chief for the payment limitation to be waived to a maximum of $450,000. Additional payment limitations apply to producers enrolled in the EQIP Organic Initiative.
EQIP Application Information
Information about how to apply for assistance through EQIP is available online. Click on the State where the property that you are interested in enrolling in EQIP is located. This will take you to that State's Programs home page, which will link to that State's EQIP page. Each State's EQIP page includes application ranking criteria, priority resource concerns, lists of eligible practices, payment rates, information about where you can submit applications, eligibility requirements and other program requirements.
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. To obtain an EQIP application, visit or contact your local NRCS field office.
National EQIP Initiatives and Statute Supported Programs
General EQIP Information
2008 EQIP Final Rule Civil Rights Impact Analysis
2008 EQIP Interim Final Rule
2008 Farm Bill EQIP Fact Sheet
2008 Farm Bill EQIP At A Glance
2008 EQIP Interim Final Rule Correction
2008 EQIP Public Comments
Program Information by Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2011
Fiscal Year 2010
Fiscal Year 2009
Contracts and Funding Data
Per Acre Irrigation Data
Fiscal Year 2008
Livestock Cost-Share Data
Unfunded Applications Data