Skip

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

 

eqip landing page banner

 

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – North Carolina

EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.

Benefits

Eligible program participants receive financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices, or activities like conservation planning, that address natural resource concerns on their land. Payments are made to participants after conservation practices and activities identified in an EQIP plan of operations are implemented. Contracts can last up to ten years in duration.

What's New in EQIP?

  • The former Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program was folded into EQIP
  • Advance payment opportunities now exist for veteran agricultural producers
  • Advance payments for socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans were raised from 30 percent to 50 percent

Eligibility

Agricultural producers and owners of non-industrial private forestland and Tribes are eligible to apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farm or ranch lands.

Socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans are eligible for an increased payment rate and may receive advance payment of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.

Applicants must:

  • Control or own eligible land
  • Comply with adjusted gross income limitation (AGI) provisions
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements
  • Develop an NRCS EQIP plan of operations

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply.

Learn more about -  

Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning Farmers, Veteran Farmers

National program information, fact sheets, and other information
Agricultural Water Enhancement Program
Conservation Activity Plans

National EQIP Initiatives Offered in North Carolina

The table below identifies the national initiatives supported by EQIP that may be available to producers engaged in specific kinds of agricultural activities, located in specific geographic locations, or opportunities associated with agency approved initiatives.

Program Name Program Description

On-Farm Energy Initiative

Enables the producer to identify ways to conserve energy on the farm through two types of Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP) for headquarters and/or for landscape, also known as an on-farm energy audit (headquarters and/or landscape); and by providing financial and technical assistance to help the producer implement various conservation practices recommended in these on-farm energy audits.

Organic Initiative

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for organic producers and those transitioning to organic to address natural resource concerns

It also helps growers meet requirements related to National Organic Program (NOP) requirements and certain program payment limitations.

National Water Quality Initiative

Helps farmers and ranchers implement conservation systems to reduce nitrogen, phosphorous, sediment and pathogen contributions from agricultural land in specific approved watershed. Contact your local NRCS field office to see if you are eligible.

Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

Helps producers plan and implement seasonal high tunnels, which are steel-framed, polyethylene-covered structures that extend growing seasons in an environmentally safe manner.

 


top of a longleaf pine tree at sunsetLongleaf Pine Initiative (LLPI)

Enhancing critical wildlife habitat and improving the health, sustainability and profitability of privately owned Longleaf pine forests in the southeastern United States.

 


EQIP Conservation Practice and Ranking Documents

Some of the following documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Excel

2015 Ranking Pools and Ranking Criteria Overview
Ranking Pool Focus Area Ranking Description
Cropland Local Resource concerns associated with the cropland land use such as soil erosion and water quality would be ranked in this ranking pool.
Pasture Local Resource concerns associated with the pasture land use such as water quality and forage quality/quantity. 
Confined Animal Local Resource concerns associated with confined animal production systems such as swine, poultry, dairy and beef stocker operations.  Resource concerns associated with the headquarters would apply.  Resource concerns such as soil erosion, water quality are typical issues ranked in this pool.
Forestry Area Resource concerns associated with confined animal production systems such as swine, poultry, dairy and beef stocker operations.  Resource concerns associated with the headquarters would apply.  Resource concerns such as soil erosion, water quality are typical issues ranked in this pool.
Beginning Farmer Area This pool is designed for all land uses but with the emphasis on providing program assistance to beginning farmers.
Socially Disadvantaged Area This pool is designed for all land uses but with the emphasis on providing program assistance to our minority producers.
Seasonal High Tunnel Area

This pool is specifically for ranking applications by eligible producers interested in construction a seasonal high tunnel.

Irrigation Efficiency State Resource concerns for this pool are on the cropland land use where efficiency of the use of irrigation water is the goal.  Irrigation history is required and an irrigation system design is required in order to  contract improvements for micro irrigation or to a low pressure center pivot.
Agricultural Chemical Handling Facility State This pool is for those eligible producers with resource concerns related to pest management and chemical management.
Closure of Waste Impoundment

State

Resource concerns related to environmental risks associated with abandoned waste storage lagoons or ponds are ranked in this ranking pool.
Long Leaf Pine

State

This is a multi-state initiative associated with management and growth of the long leaf pine ecosystem.
Organic Certified State

Ranking pools exist for Certified Organic and those interested in Transitioning to Organic Certification.  Those selling product under an Exempt category may also apply.  Natural resource concerns associated with organic farms may be ranked in this pool.

Organic Transition State

Ranking pools exist for Certified Organic and those interested in Transitioning to Organic Certification.  Those selling product under an Exempt category may also apply.  Natural resource concerns associated with organic farms may be ranked in this pool.

On-Farm Energy State This is a National Initiative with the purpose of evaluating and identifying opportunities to save energy on the farm.  Opportunities exist for energy audits as well as implementing improvements identified in an approved audit.
Golden Winged Warbler State This is a wildlife habitat initiative focused on the high elevations (>2500 feet) where the habitat of the Golden Winged Warbler can be improved.
National Water Quality Initiative State This ranking opportunity exist in Surry County.  This initiatives purpose is to focus resources on relatively small watersheds with the idea to make remarkable differences in water quality over relatively short timeframes.  All landuses are applicable and as well as cropland and animal operations with water quality issues that may be resolved with program funds.
Associated Lands (Wildlife) State This initiative is focused on lands that are not managed as cropland, pasture or forestland but with the objectives of the landowner are wildlife habitat related.


 

2015 EQIP Cost List
Description Year Program
On-Farm Energy 2015 EQIP Cost List
General 2015 EQIP Cost List
Long Leaf Pine and Golden Winged Warbler 2015 EQIP Cost List
National Water Quality Initiative 2015 EQIP Cost List
Organic 2015 EQIP Cost List

 

 

Sign-Up Application Deadlines for Pending Available Funding in 2015
(Applicants can sign-up throughout the year, however funds will be made available for eligible applications during set-times throughout the year.)

Sign-Up Period for Available Funds Date Comments
1st Cut-Off Period for Consideration of Available Funds January 16, 2015 Applicants signing an application by this date and with all required conservation planning prepared may be evaluated in this period. 
2nd Cut-Off Period for Consideration of Available Funds March 20, 2015

Applicants signing an application  after the Sign Up 1 and by this date that have all required conservation planning prepared may be evaluated in this period if funding allows.

3rd Cut-Off Period for Consideration of Available Funds May 15, 2015 Applicants signing up after Sign Up 2 and by this date that have all required conservation planning prepared may be evaluated in this period if funding allows.


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 2/2014)

 

Program Contact

Greg Walker, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 919-873-2104