The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and non-industrial forest managers to address natural resource concerns.
West Virginia EQIP Information
West Virginia has 14 different Local Working Group areas. The areas range from 1 county to 6 counties and cover all of West Virginia’s 55 counties. The Local Working Groups are organized by the West Virginia Conservation District boundaries. Each Conservation District convenes annual Local Working Group meetings to identify and prioritize their natural resource concerns. The Local Working Group membership is a diverse group of agricultural and nonindustrial private forestland owners, representatives of agricultural and environmental organizations and representatives of government agencies carrying out the agricultural and natural resource conservation programs within West Virginia.
Each Conservation District convenes Local Working Group meetings to identify and prioritize their natural resource concerns which EQIP can address. The Local Working Groups included representatives of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Conservation Districts, State Conservation Agency, Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Natural Resources, Dept. of Environmental Protection, US Fish and Wildlife, County officials, and other elected officials.
The Local Working Groups identify and prioritize the needed practices to address local and statewide resource concerns. The prioritized practice information is used to develop ranking criteria to evaluate EQIP applications. Each Local Working Group recommends practices and payment rates in their Conservation District’s area. This information is submitted as the Local Working Group’s proposal for consideration by the State Technical Committee and the NRCS State Conservationist. The NRCS State Conservationist makes the final decisions regarding EQIP implementation in the state.
A state allocation formula is used to allocate funds to national, state, and local funding pools, and includes a variety of factors that address items such as acres of grazing land, acres of cropland, number of unfunded applications, etc. These factors take into consideration national and state EQIP priorities and measures. The State Technical Committee reviews the state allocation formula and makes recommendations to the NRCS State Conservationist. There is no guarantee that every county will receive funding. Applications will be grouped, evaluated, and funded based on the ranking criteria for that pool. Land users in every county will have the opportunity to apply and compete for EQIP funding, but there will not be a county level allocation.
Fiscal Year 2023 EQIP
WV-NRCS establishes application ranking batching date which is a date a complete application must be filed to be considered for the respective funding cycle. Please note, NRCS accepts applications on a year-round basis and all applications received after the ranking batch date are automatically deferred to the next funding cycle. NRCS selects the highest ranked applications for funding based on ranking score order. If your application is preapproved for funding, NRCS will contact you to confirm your interest in receiving financial assistance in EQIP.
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.