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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Staff Contact:

Interested agricultural producers should contact their Local USDA NRCS Office.

New! NRCS is operating a pilot program through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to provide assistance to eligible producers in meeting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements for an Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. The 2-year SPCC pilot program has been extended into its third year in an effort to provide assistance to producers who are required to comply with EPA regulation related to environmental damage from accidental on-farm oil spills.
Sign-
up for EQIP - SPCC is continuous; however, the First Application Batching Period for FY 2013 will run through April 19, 2013. Pending funding availability, a Second Application Batching Period will run through May 17, 2013.
Our SPCC Information Handout (PDF; 5.0 MB) provides an overview of the SPCC Conservation Activity Plan (CAP). For more information contact your Local NRCS Field Office.

EQIP General Program Description - Louisiana

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.

Application Information

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. The application deadline also applies to Initiatives funded through EQIP.

To obtain an EQIP application, visit or contact your Local NRCS Field Office. Applicants must establish eligibility records and complete all necessary forms, including the NRCS-CPA-1200, to be considered for participation. Financial assistance eligibility is contingent on the applicant not starting the practice prior to having an approved EQIP contract signed by the designated NRCS Contracting Officer.

Who Can Apply

Owners of private 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 in Louisiana

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 (Conservation Activity Plans) which are developed by a Technical Service Provider. 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.

The following document requires Adobe Acrobat.

2013 Eligible Practice List (Under Development)

Conservation Activity Plans (CAP) Offered in Louisiana

Practice Code Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) - Practice Name
102 Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan – Written
104 Nutrient Management Plan - Written
106 Forest Management Plan - Written
110 Grazing Management Plan - Written
114 Integrated Pest Management Plan- Written
118 Irrigation Water Management Plan - Written
122 Agricultural Energy Management Plan – Headquarters – Written
124 Agricultural Energy Management Plan – Landscape – Written
130 Drainage Water Management Plan - Written
138 Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition – Written
142 Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management Plan – Written
146 Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Plan - Written
150 Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) – Written
154 Integrated Pest Management - Herbicide Resistant Weed Plan - Written


The Locally Led Process

A portion of Louisiana’s EQIP funds are allocated each year to local field office funding pools. Through the locally led process, local work groups identify and prioritize local resource concerns. All land users, partner agencies, agriculture interest groups, and other organizations and businesses that have an interest in natural resource management are encourage to participate in the locally led process. The local resource needs are the foundation for selecting eligible practices offered in EQIP and establishing local funding priority. The State Technical Committee provides input on prioritizing locally identified resource needs as a component of the local funding pool allocation formula.

Ranking

Louisiana will use the ProTracts Ranking Tool for ranking all EQIP applications. This ranking tool has been developed in order to achieve a consistent nation-wide ranking process that is tailored to prioritize the targeted resource concerns in Louisiana, as identified by the Local Work Groups. The ranking tool will allow field offices to rank applications based on practices in which the applicant is requesting financial assistance, while evaluating practice benefits, cost effectiveness, and local, state and national priorities. A sum of the point values will be used to prioritize EQIP applications for funding consideration.

The following document requires Adobe Acrobat.

2013 EQIP Ranking Criteria (Under Development)

Contract Development

Form NRCS-CPA-1202 and Appendix will serve as the contract document for EQIP. Applicants who rank high enough to be selected for EQIP contracting must have a conservation plan developed. The conservation plan will outline the practices that will be included on the contract and the schedule for implementing the practices.

EQIP contracts will have a minimum length of one year after the last practice is certified complete and a maximum length not to exceed 10 years. No practices will be scheduled in the 10th year of the contract. All practices must be completed within 9 years of contract obligation. Participants agree to maintain conservation practices implemented with EQIP financial assistance for the practice life span, which may exceed the length of the contract. Conservation Practices must meet or exceed Louisiana NRCS standards and specifications to be eligible for financial assistance payment.

At least one practice within the contract must be started within 12 months of contract approval by the NRCS Contracting Officer. Once begun, the producer is expected to make continuous progress towards implementation. Failure to commence a practice within 12 months of contract approval may result in contract termination unless circumstances beyond the participant’s control prevented the start of the practice. Practices started or completed prior to contract approval are not eligible for EQIP financial assistance.

National EQIP Initiatives

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