Apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
How Do I Apply?
Have a resource concern you are ready to address or a management system you want to try? We are ready to help. Applications for EQIP financial assistance are accepted throughout the year. Specific deadlines are set for ranking and funding opportunities within each state. The best way to learn if EQIP is a good fit for you is by contacting your local NRCS office. If you choose to move forward, your local NRCS conservationist will guide you through applying for the program.
Applications for conservation practices and systems that will result in greater environmental benefits for national, state, and/or local natural resource priorities will receive a higher score and higher priority to receive an offer for a financial assistance contract.
Once you have chosen the right conservation practices for your land, you may be offered an EQIP contract to receive financial assistance for the cost of implementing certain practices. Payment rates for conservation practices are reviewed and set each fiscal year.
Preparing Your Application
Applications will be accepted for all eligible lands and applicants. Eligible land includes:
- Cropland and hayland
- Non-industrial private forestland
- Other farm or ranch lands
- Environmentally sensitive areas
Eligible applicants(s) include:
- Agricultural producers
- Owners of non-industrial private forestland
- Indian Tribes
- Those with an interest in the agricultural or forestry operations
- Water management entities
Farm records must indicate the applicant: Additionally, farm records must be established or updated with the Farm Service Agency for both the applicants and the land for your application to be eligible and evaluated. Farm records must indicate the applicant:
- Controls or owns eligible land;
- Meets adjusted gross income (AGI) and payment limitation provisions;
- Is in compliance with highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements
- If you are an Historically Underserved Farmer or Rancher, you may be eligible for the advance payment option.
In addition to these requirements, approved participants, through consultation with NRCS conservation planners, must develop an EQIP plan of operations that addresses at least one natural resource concern.
Note: Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. Contact your local office for information specific to your application.
Evaluating Your Application
Once your application has been filed and both you and your land are determined to be eligible for EQIP, the local NRCS conservation planner will have a one-on-one consultation with you to evaluate the current condition of the natural resource conditions or concerns on your land. An NRCS conservation planner will present you with a variety of conservation practices or systems to address your concerns or management goals while improving and protecting the natural resource condition of your land.
Assessments of conservation practices and activities that will result in greater environmental benefits for national, state, and/or local natural resource priorities will receive a higher score and higher priority to receive an offer for a financial assistance contract
Applications are ranked, and if yours is funded, NRCS will offer you an EQIP contract to receive financial assistance for the cost of implementing practices. Payment rates for conservation practices are reviewed and set each fiscal year.