The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), re-authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. The program supports production agriculture and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers may receive financial and technical help with structural and management conservation practices on agricultural land.
Incentive payments may be made to encourage a farmer to adopt land management practices, such as nutrient management, manure management, pasture management and wildlife habitat management. Incentive payments are limited to three years in order to encourage land owners to adopt better management.
NRCS accepts applications for EQIP all year, with one or more ranking periods set annually. The fiscal year 2014 application and ranking periods have not been determined. Sign-ups are conducted at USDA Service Centers.