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Environmental Quality Incentives Program - MO

EQIP
Apply: March 1, 2024

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

Fiscal Year 2024 Missouri Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Opportunities

EQIP

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

FY24 Batching Dates:
October 3, 2023
Future date(s) to be announced

Missouri’s Priority Resource Concerns for FY24:

EQIP provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land that has a natural resource concern.  Applicants under EQIP compete for funding against other applicants on similar land uses.  Land use funding pools covered under EQIP funding include, Cropland, Pasture/Hayland, Wildlife, Forestland, and Animal Feeding/Waste.  Funding opportunities are also available for applications that focus on climate smart agriculture and forestry conservation practices, or have been identified as focus areas such as MRBI and NWQI.

EQIP provides technical and financial assistance to agricultural and/or forest producers to address natural resource concerns including enhancing water and air quality, conserving ground and surface water, reducing soil erosion and sedimentation, or enhancing wildlife habitat.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) includes provisions that address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, and veteran farmers and ranchers (“historically underserved producers”).  USDA recognizes the need to be inclusive of all people and ensure equitable access to services. Special provisions are available for producers who meet the definition for historically underserved producers.  Increased financial assistance for conservation practices, dedicated conservation funding, and access to advance payments for conservation practice implementation are offered to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners that fit into any of the following historically underserved groups:

  • Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher
  • Beginning Farmer or Rancher
  • Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher
  • Veteran Farmer or Rancher

For more information on Historically Underserved producers click here.

Organic Transition Initiative

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

NRCS in Missouri is accepting applications through March 1, 2024, for FY2024 funding. Applications received after this date will be considered for the next available funding.

Funding for OTI supports producers transitioning to organic certification through financial and technical assistance associated with applicable conservation practices.

The initiative will help build new and better markets and income streams, strengthen local and regional food systems and increase affordable food supply for more Americans, while promoting climate-smart agriculture and ensuring equity for all producers.

Organic Transition Initiative overview

ACT NOW Initiatives

ACT NOW allows NRCS to immediately approve and obligate a ranked application in a designated ranking pool when an eligible application meets or exceeds a State-established minimum ranking score without waiting for all applications to be ranked and pre-approved in that ranking pool.

Livestock Water Development

Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2023

Minimum ranking threshold score: 50

This initiative will concentrate on key counties impacted by several years of severe drought. Livestock must be present on the farm, and the operation must lack access to a water source able to provide adequate water quantity and quality on the property.

Projects can include the development of a primary water source and must include the development of a single water delivery point. See the fact sheet below for more information.

EQIP Conservation Incentives Contracts (EQIP-CIC)

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

FY24 Batching Dates:
October 3, 2023
Future date(s) to be announced

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

How To Get Started

The first step is to contact your local NRCS office. An NRCS conservation planner will schedule a visit to your property. They will walk the land with you to discuss your goals and review any resource concerns. Following the site visit, the conservation planner will develop a conservation plan that includes a variety of conservation practices or activities to address the resource concerns and management goals discussed.

Use the Service Center locator below to get started.

Success Stories

EQIP Overview

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

Additional Information

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 number.

If you don’t have a farm 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 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. View Application Ranking Dates by State.

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.