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Environmental Quality Incentives Program Conservation Incentive Contract

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Conservation Incentive Contract (EQIP-CIC)

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. Priority Resource Concern within a State-identified High Priority Area. The focus for FY 2022 in California is on Climate Smart Agriculture including Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration. 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.

Application Deadline = April 1, 2022
Contract Obligation Deadline = August 5, 2022

Program Description

The following documents require MS Word.

Interested Applicants

EQIP-CIC is available to all eligible individuals, entities, Tribes, and joint operations in all counties within the state of California.

Funding for tribal applicants will be allocated within CIC, as categorized in the CART ranking process.

Interested applicants may apply for EQIP-CIC by completing and submitting the application, Form NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application, to the NRCS field office in person, by phone, email, or fax in the county which you own or lease land for an agricultural operation. In order to be considered eligible for EQIP the applicant must have a vested interest in production agriculture on that land and meet other program eligibility requirements.

For more information about EQIP, how to apply and program eligibility, interested applicants should contact a NRCS field office in the county which you own land or where you have an agricultural operation. 

Visit to find the NRCS representative for your county.

Land Use

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

The goal of conservation planning is to help each client attain sustainable use and sound management of soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources, based on related human considerations (SWAPAE+H). Below is a list of priority resource concerns for the FY22 EQIP-CIC ranking pool.


Resource Concern Category

Resource Concern


Soil Quality Limitation

Aggregate instability


Concentration of salts or other chemicals

Organic matter depletion

Soil organism habitat loss or degradation



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

NRCS conservation practices eligible for financial assistance through this ranking pool are listed in the table below. For more information about NRCS conservation practices visit the following website link: National Conservation Practice Standards | NRCS (

Practice Code

Practice Name

Units Lifespan
328 Conservation Crop Rotation ac 1
329 Residue and Tillage Management, No Till ac 1
345 Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till ac 1
484 Mulching ac 1
590 Nutrient Management ac 1
595 Pest Management Conservation System ac 1
808 Soil Carbon Amendment ac 1


See CART Ranking Pool Report for additional information.

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


Program Contact

Jae Lee, Acting Programs Specialist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Davis State Office, California
Phone: 951-323-7359


Updated: 02/04/2022