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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

EQIP

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and non-industrial forest managers to address natural resource concern

Fiscal Year 2023 Missouri EQIP Opportunities

Climate Smart Agriculture - Native Forages Initiative

Application deadline is Aug. 1, 2023

NRCS in Missouri will accept applications until Aug. 1, 2023, for the EQIP Climate Smart Agriculture - Native Forage Initiative. Applications submitted prior to this date will be assessed and ranked as soon as the applicant has made treatment decisions through a conservation plan.

Based on fund availability, applications that meet a minimum threshold will be preapproved immediately, allowing the applicant to ACT NOW. Application assessments below the minimum threshold will be batched and funded in ranking order as funding allows.

The Native Forages Initiative is for producers interested in addressing resource concerns associated with managing moisture and drought susceptibility, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing carbon sequestration by converting non-native forages to native forages for haying or grazing or converting cropland to native forages for haying or grazing.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is offering a $100 per acre Sign-up Incentive Payment in coordination with this initiative on eligible areas. To learn more, click here.

EQIP Classic

Application deadline is November 18, 2022

Applications submitted by November 18, 2022 will be evaluated to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2023.  Applications received after November 18, 2022 will be accepted and evaluated for future rounds of funding.

Missouri is offering funding with the following focus areas for Fiscal Year 2023:

General EQIP

The General EQIP funding is for owners of land in agricultural or forest production, or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land that has a natural resource concern.  Applicants under general EQIP compete for funding against other applicants on similar land uses.  Land use funding pools covered under general EQIP funding include, Cropland, Pasture/Hayland, Wildlife, Forestland, and Animal Feeding/Waste.

Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry - Soil Health Cropland Initiative

The Soil Health Cropland Initiative is a state initiative focused on assisting cropland producers address resource concerns associated with soil quality degradation to implement Soil Health Management Systems on their farms. 

Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry - Agroforestry Initiative

The Agroforestry Initiative is a state initiative focused on assisting farmers addressing resource concerns with Agroforestry practices.  Agroforestry practices include Tree/Shrub Establishment, Alley Cropping, Windbreak/Shelterbelt, Silvopasture Establishment, Riparian Forest Buffer and more. 

Organic Initiative 

The EQIP Organic Initiative assists eligible applicants to install conservation practices on agricultural operations related to organic production such as certified organic producers, producers transitioning to organic production, and certification exempt producers according to the USDA-National Organic Program.

High Tunnel Initiative 

The purpose of the High Tunnel Initiative is to assist producers to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. The practice has the potential to assist producers to address resource concerns by improving plant quality, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport.

On-Farm Energy Initiative 

The EQIP On-Farm Energy Initiative assists producers by identifying ways to conserve energy on the farm through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit; and by providing financial and technical assistance to help the producer implement recommendations and conservation practices identified in the audit plan.

Small Scale Crop and Livestock Agriculture

This initiative assists eligible applicants in either rural, suburban, or urban areas to address resource concerns on operations producing specialty crops and/or livestock where production is on a total of 20 acres or less.

National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)

The National Water Quality Initiative is a focused approach to assist landowners in priority watersheds to apply selected conservation practices to reduce the flow of sediment, nutrients and other runoff into impaired waterways.

The FY23 Missouri NWQI priority watersheds are:

  • Little Hunting Slough in Butler County, HUC 110100070805 
  • Upper Petite Saline in Cooper County, HUC 103001020403
  • Middle Petite Saline in Cooper County, HUC 103001020405
  • Sugar Creek-East Fork Little Chariton River in Randolph County, HUC 102802030204
  • Capps Creek in Barry and Newton Counties, HUC 110702070703
  • Zerbert Branch-Shoal Creek in Barry and Newton Counties, HUC 110702070706
  • Spencer Branch-Shoal Creek in Newton County, HUC 110702070801
  • Dry Branch-Shoal Creek in Newton County, HUC 110702070803

Find my watershed

Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI)

To improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin, including water quality and wildlife habitat, NRCS developed the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI). Through MRBI, NRCS and its conservation partners will assist producers in selected small watersheds within the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control and trap runoff, while maintaining agricultural productivity and improving wildlife habitat.

The FY23 Missouri MRBI priority watersheds are:

  • Upper Apple Creek in Bollinger, Perry and Cape Girardeau counties, HUC 071401050401
  • Middle Apple Creek in Perry and Cape Girardeau counties, HUC 071401050403
  • Lower Apple Creek in Perry and Cape Girardeau counties, HUC 071401050404
  • Cane Creek-Diversion Channel in Bollinger county, HUC 071401070404
  • Dry Creek in Bollinger and Cape Girardeau counties, HUC 071401070406
  • Headwaters Indian Creek in Audrain, Pike and Ralls counties, HUC 071100080201
  • Sandy Fork-West Fork Cuivre River in Audrain, Pike and Montgomery counties, HUC 071100080105
  • Coon Creek in Audrain and Montgomery counties, HUC 071100080104
  • Spring Branch-Elk Creek in Chariton and Linn counties, HUC 102801031302
  • Turkey Creek in in Chariton and Linn counties, HUC 102801031301
  • Long Branch in Linn and Sullivan counties, HUC 102801031204
  • Mozingo Creek in Nodaway county, HUC 102400130303
  • Fox River in Clark county, HUC 71100010306
  • Brush Creek-Fox River in Clark county, HUC 71100010301

EQIP Conservation Incentives Contracts (EQIP-CIC)

Application deadline is TBA

Applications submitted by TBA will be evaluated to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2023.  Applications received after TBA will be accepted and evaluated for future rounds of funding.

The 2018 Farm Bill introduced EQIP incentive contracts to expand resource benefits for producers for the implementation, adoption, management, and maintenance of incentive practices that effectively address at least one eligible resource concern with a State-identified high priority area (HPA). EQIP-CIC can be a stepping-stone between the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). EQIP-CIC offers a unique opportunity for a 5-year contract with an annual payment, without enrolling the entire operation into the program. The flexibility can be a gateway to future participation in CSP enrollment and achievement of a higher level of conservation stewardship for their entire operation.

The conservation goals and funding priorities of the EQIP-CIC High Priority Area (HPA) ranking pools are to focus on providing resource protection across the State of Missouri.

EQIP-CIC High Priority Areas (HPA)

HPA 1- Native Grassland Restoration 

The Native Grassland Restoration HPA will concentrate on native grassland management for both grazing resource concerns and wildlife habitat. The focus area covers the entire state of Missouri.

  • Land Use(s):
    • Pasture
    • Associated Agricultural Land (AAL)
    • Cropland
  • Priority Resource Concern(s):
    • Terrestrial Habitat
    • Livestock Production Limitation

HPA 2- Soil Health Management System 

The Soil Health Management System HPA focuses on improving soil health by applying a suite of conservation practices on agricultural lands. The focus area covers the entire state of Missouri.

  • Land Use(s):
    • Cropland
    • Pasture
  • Priority Resource Concern(s):
    • Soil Quality Limitations

HPA 3- Source Water Protection for Water Quality and Quantity

The Source Water Protection for Water Quality and Quantity HPA focuses on improving drinking water quality and quantity by applying conservation on agricultural lands within targeted watersheds. The focus area corresponds with the Missouri Source Water Protection Priority Watersheds 

  • Land Use(s):
    • Cropland
    • Pasture
  • Priority Resource Concern(s):
    • Field sediment, nutrient & pathogen loss
    • Soil quality limitations
    • Source Water Depletion

EQIP Overview

EQIP is NRCS' flagship conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands

Ready to get started?

Contact your local service center to start your application.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

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.

how to get started

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.