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Person stepping from a stone named EQIP CIC to a stone named CSP

Environmental Quality Incentives Program Conservation Incentive Contract (EQIP-CIC) - California

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The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 authorized NRCS to provide technical and financial assistance to producers through EQIP-CIC for the implementation, adoption, management, and maintenance of incentive practices that effectively address at least one eligible priority resource concern within a State-identified High Priority Area. EQIP-CIC can be a steppingstone for producers between EQIP classic and the Conservation Stewardship Program.

  • In consultation with the State Technical Committee and Local Work Groups, the State Conservationist has developed ranking pools and ranking criteria to focus CIC funding for priority resource concerns and focused conservation.

  • NRCS uses the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) to assess the site vulnerability, existing conditions, and identify potential resource concerns on a unit of land. After CART assessment, NRCS uses CART Ranking to evaluate an application in applicable ranking pools.

  • The State Conservationist establishes batching periods to select the highest ranked applications for funding. Contract approval is dependent on program eligibility determinations.


EQIP-CIC Application Sign-up and Cut-off Dates

NRCS accepts EQIP applications year-round but establishes cutoff dates to make funding selections for eligible, screened, and ranked applications.


FY24 Application Deadline: November 3, 2023


Land Use for EQIP-CIC

Only applications for agricultural operations that address resource concerns on the land use type listed below will be considered for financial assistance from this EQIP Fund Pool. The description below is the NRCS land use definition.

Crop: Land used primarily for the production and harvest of annual or perennial field, forage, food, fiber, horticultural, orchard, vineyard, or energy crops.


Resource Concerns for EQIP-CIC


Soil Quality Limitation

  • Aggregate instability
  • Compaction
  • Concentration of salts or other chemicals
  • Organic matter depletion
  • Soil organism habitat loss or degradation
  • Subsidence


Field, Sediment, Nutrient, and Pathogen Loss

  • Nutrients transported to groundwater
  • Nutrients transported to surface water
  • Pathogens and chemicals from manure biosolids, or compost applications transported to groundwater
  • Pathogens and chemicals from manure biosolids, or compost applications transported to surface water
  • Sediment transported to surface water

Field Pesticide Loss

  • Pesticides transported to groundwater
  • Pesticides transported to surface water


Conservation Practices for EQIP-CIC

  • 328 - Conservation Crop Rotation
  • 329 - Residue and Tillage Management, No Till
  • 345 - Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till
  • 484 - Mulching
  • 590 - Nutrient Management
  • 595 - Pest Management Conservation System
  • 808 - Soil Carbon Amendment

Lifespan for all practices is one year


Ranking Criteria and Points for EQIP-CIC

Applicability Questions

  • Are the assessed PLUs classified as cropland and within the state of California?
    (no points)

Category Questions

  • Is the applicant a Tribe, Tribal members, Alaska Native(s), and/or Pacific Islander?
    (no points)

Program Questions

  • Did the applicant apply as a Historically Underserved Producer?
    (no points)
  • In the last two EQIP program years, the client failed to implement contract items as agreed to according to Form, NRCS-CPA-153, Agreement Covering Non-Compliance with Provisions of Contract; OR, in the last two EQIP program years, the client had a NRCS contract terminated.
    YES 0
    NO 200

Resource Questions

  • Will implementation of the conservation practices directly result in reduced soil disturbance and/or a greater variety of plantings?
    YES 100
    NO 0
  • Will implementation of the conservation practices directly result in reduced movement of pesticides, nutrients, and/or sediment beyond the field boundary?
    YES 100
    NO 0