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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

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The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (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.

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.
  • Payment limitations are set at $450,000 with no ability to waive.

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.

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. 

How to Apply

Visit your local USDA Service Center to apply or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.

NRCS will help eligible producers develop an EQIP plan of operations, which will become the basis of the EQIP contract.

EQIP applications will be ranked based on a number of factors, including the environmental benefits and cost effectiveness of the proposal.

More Information

EQIP Fact Sheet (PDF, xxKB)

For more information visit your local USDA Service Center

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or www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.

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Archive EQIP Information

North Dakota Program Contact

Jennifer C. Heglund
Assistant State Conservationist (Programs)

Phone: 701-530-2095
Email: jennifer.heglund@nd.usda.gov