The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is NRCS’ flagship conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands.
Colorado's ACT NOW Initiatives
- Colorado's ACT NOW Initiatives allows producers the opportunity to apply for applicable EQIP funding and those who have fully established eligibility records with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) have the potential to know if their project will be funded before leaving the UDSA service center.
- Please be prepared to provide information about your anticipated crop rotation, any soil testing, and other relevant resource information like a nutrient management plan, soil health assessment, and pest management plan, including a chemical list for crop fields you wish to enroll. This preparedness will help to facilitate planning your project. You will also want to ensure that you have worked with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to update all your agricultural producer records for fiscal year 2022.
- Additional ACT NOW Initiatives include:
What are CPAs, DIAs, and CEMAs?
Technical service providers (TSP) or other third-party service providers (Providers) for NRCS can carry out planning, design, implementation, and monitoring tasks for NRCS conservation program purposes (previously known as Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs)). NRCS has reorganized and renamed CAPs into three new categories—Conservation Planning Activities (CPAs), Design and Implementation Activities (DIAs), and Conservation Evaluation and Monitoring Activities (CEMAs). NRCS broke these activities out to clarify which phase of the NRCS conservation planning process the TSP/Provider will be supporting.
Conservation Planning Activities (CPAs): Activities that result in a conservation plan consistent with steps 1-7 of the NRCS conservation planning process. The CPA will document client decisions regarding selected alternatives including identification of desired primary and supporting practices that the client would like to use to treat identified resource concerns.
- Design and Implementation Activities (DIAs): Activities that allow for development of specific practice designs, management prescriptions, or other instructions that allow the client to implement the conservation practice or system of conservation practices. These activities are consistent with Step 8 of the NRCS conservation planning process. (Does not include assistance with conservation practice installation, review, and checkout.)
- Conservation Evaluation and Monitoring Activities (CEMAs): Activities that include evaluation, monitoring, testing, or assessment for a specific purpose, to complete practice implementation requirements, or to determine the effectiveness of conservation practices and activities. CEMAs are consistent with Step 9 of the NRCS conservation planning process but may be used at any point in the planning process.
Fiscal Year 2023 Resources
Ready to get started?
Contact your local service center to start your application.
How to Get Assistance
Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?
Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.
To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.
NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.
We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:
- To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
- To meet other eligibility certifications.
Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.
Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.
As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:
- An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
- A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
- A farm tract number.
If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.
NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.
If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.
Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.