Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – North Carolina
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) to provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land.
EQIP offers contracts that provide incentive payments and cost-shares to implement conservation practices. Persons who are engaged in livestock or agricultural production on eligible land may participate in the EQIP program. EQIP activities are carried out according to an environmental quality incentives program plan of operations developed in conjunction with the producer that identifies the appropriate conservation practice or practices to address the resource concerns. The practices are subject to NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions.
EQIP cost-shares 50- to 75 percent of the costs of certain conservation practices. Incentive payments may be provided for up to three years to encourage producers to carry out management practices they may not otherwise use without the incentive. However, historically underserved groups, see below for definitions, are eligible for cost-shares up to 90 percent. Farmers and ranchers may elect to use a certified third-party provider for technical assistance. An individual or entity may not receive, directly or indirectly, cost-share or incentive payments that, in the aggregate, exceed $300,000 for all EQIP contracts entered during the term of this Farm Bill.
Historically Underserved individuals and groups are those who have not participated in or received limited benefits from USDA or NRCS programs. The 2008 Farm Bill recognizes landowners/operators who are socially disadvantaged, have limited resources and are beginning farmers/ranchers as eligible for special incentives for program participation. These incentives may include increased payment rates, and evaluation under special funding pools. Historically Underserved individuals and groups include Limited Resource Farmers, Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Beginning Farmer.
Limited Resource Farmer:
is an applicant with direct or indirect gross farm sales not more than the current indexed value in each of the previous two years and
Who has a total household income at or below the national poverty level for a family of four, or less than 50% of the county median household income in each of the previous two years.
Legal entity or joint operation can be a Limited Resource Farmer only if all individual members independently qualify.
Self-Determination tool can be found at http://www.lrftool.sc.egov.usda.gov/
is an applicant who has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 consecutive years. This requirement applies to all members of a legal entity, and who
Will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch.
Socially Disadvantaged group:
is a group whose members have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. This group includes the following:
American Indians or Alaskan Natives
Blacks or African Americans
Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders
EQIP Conservation Practice and Ranking Documents
The following documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Excel
2013 Payment Schedule, EQIP (PDF, 300 KB) (Last Modified 12/13/2012)
2013 Payment Schedule, Energy (PDF, 86 KB) (Last Modified 12/12/2012)
North Carolina Forms
SF-1199A Direct Deposit Sign-up Form
W-9 Tax Form - Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (fillable) (PDF; 75 KB) (Last Modified 8/22/2007)
Application Form NRCS-CPA-1200 (PDF; 95 KB) (Last Modified 3/22/2010)
Greg Walker, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 919-873-2104