Environmental Quality Incentives Program
EQIP Sign-Up and Application Information
Subject to revision by the Connecticut State Technical Committee
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.
General Program Description
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized in the 2008 Farm Bill and is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). EQIP provides cost share and incentive payments to implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land. It is a voluntary program that promotes environmental quality and agricultural production as compatible goals. EQIP sign-ups are conducted at USDA Service Centers on a continuing basis. Interested parties may submit an application anytime during the Fiscal Year. Once received, applications will be pre-screened to determine if the application is of high, medium, or low priority. The pre-screening tool determines if the applicant is ready to select eligible conservation practices from their approved conservation plan so the application can be ranked in the Application Evaluation and Ranking Tool. All pre-screened applications prioritized as high or medium will be ranked in the next ranking period. Contact your local NRCS office to begin the planning and application process.
Eligible conservation practices are funded in accordance with the FY2013 EQIP Payment Schedule. Incentive payments may be made to encourage a farmer to adopt land management practices such as nutrient management, waste utilization, integrated pest management, irrigation water management, and wildlife habitat management.
Some of the following documents require Adobe Acrobat.
FY2013 Practice Payment Rates
The following provides a listing of all eligible FY2013 EQIP practices and their payment rates. For both the state and national initiatives being offered in Connecticut, there is a limited suite of practices eligible for FY2013. For information about practices for a specific initiative, please select the appropriate link in Special Initiatives for FY2013 below.
Special Initiatives for FY2013
The Farm Bill provides authority to use EQIP for payment of practices and conservation activities involving the development of an agricultural energy management plan (AgEMP). The energy initiative is designed to help producers improve energy efficiency on their agriculture operations. This initiative provides funding for individual on-farm energy audits intended to save both money and energy, when fully implemented.
NRCS has established a national high tunnel initiative. Agricultural producers may apply to receive financial and technical assistance to help NRCS test the conservation benefits and effects of high tunnels (aka hoop houses) in practical, real-world situations.
National Organics Initiative
NRCS is offers technical and financial assistance for conservation practices related to organic production through EQIP's Organic Initiative. The assistance helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to allow their organic operations to be environmentally sustainable. The EQIP Organic Initiative is available in all 50 states for farmers who are certified organic, transitioning to certified organic, or organic exempt according to USDA’s National Organic Program regulations. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.
Experimenting with cover crops and crop rotations, installing intensive grazing infrastructure (grazing plans, internal fencing, walkways, water lines), establishing wildlife and pollinator friendly habitat, and installing seasonal high tunnels are examples of conservation practices for which funding may be available under this program. In addition, states offer Conservation Activity Plans that support conservation planning for organic agriculture.
Contact your local NRCS office to meet with your conservation planning professional and determine which practices could enhance your farming operation.
Organic Initiative Point of Contact Vivian Felten, District Conservationist, (860) 688-7725, Ext. 118.
EQIP Organic Support
Connecticut EQIP Organic Initiative Eligible Practices (Coming Soon)
Connecticut EQIP Organic Payment Schedule General and Organic Payment Schedule Historically Underserved (Coming Soon)
(In Connecticut, all practices are eligible for EQIP Organic applicants. Practices identified -- in orange on the payment list -- have specific components in the payments identified for organic farming such as organic seed, organic fertilizer, or setbacks required for organic farming.)
Organics Initiative Fact Sheet (208 KB)
The goal of this initiative is to expand stewardship opportunities for private forest lands (with existing tree cover or that is suitable for growing trees) through forest land planning. Conservation practices that improve wildlife habitat, forest health and productivity, and water quality are offered through this initiative.
NRCS is offering technical and financial assistance to farmers and forest landowners interested in improving water quality and aquatic habitats in priority watersheds with impaired streams.
Long Island Sound Watershed Partnership (coming soon)
Long Island Sound (LIS) is one of 28 designated estuaries of national significance in the U.S. The LIS Watershed begins at the headwaters of the Connecticut River on the Quebec border and encompasses 17,814 square miles in six states (CT, MA, VT, NH, NY, RI) and Quebec. The priorities of this multi-state partnership include improving conservation opportunities for private agricultural and forest landowners; ensuring more sustainable agriculture, creating healthy aquatic environments for shellfish and finfish production; restoring and protecting wildlife habitat; and maintaining and restoring hydrologic and ecological functions within the watershed.
EQIP General Program Description Documents and Application Form
EQIP Conservation Practice, Ranking Documents, and Program Contract
Links to Other Useful Documents for the EQIP Program
Assistant State Conservationist - Programs
Phone: (860) 871-4028