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EQIP Payments and Payment Rates


Farm Bill legislation provides NRCS with authority to provide financial assistance payments through EQIP to eligible producers, to help implement approved conservation practices on eligible land. All program payments will be attributed to individuals who either received an EQIP payment directly or who are considered to have received a payment indirectly by holding an interest in an entity that received the EQIP payment. EQIP payments will be tracked by entity tax identification numbers (EIN) and Social Security numbers (SSN).

All program payments for conservation treatment options must meet NRCS specifications, address the identified resource concern, and be approved by an individual with NRCS job approval authority. Payment rates are developed for different conservation practice scenarios.

Payment Rates

View EQIP payment rates at California Payment Schedules.

Payment Limitations

Payments received by participants through EQIP are subject to limitations established by legislative authority, as follows:

  • Program participants may not receive, directly or indirectly, payments that, in the aggregate, exceed $450,000 for all EQIP contracts entered into during the period 2014 to 2018. Unlike the previous Farm Bill, this maximum payment limitation may not be waived.  Additional payment limitations apply to producers enrolled in the EQIP Organic Initiative.
  • In additional to payment limitations, Farm Bill legislation also established that conservation program benefits to are limited to individuals or entities with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $900,000 per year or less. The limit is based on the 3 tax years immediately preceding the year of the original contract obligation.

Practice Payment Caps

For certain conservation practices a limit to the amount of financial assistance has been established. Practice payment caps are established in consultation with local partners and to allow limited financial assistance support to reach more participants. A maximum payment amount per contract or practice is not allowable. Payment rate caps are applicable per contract item number for the applicable EQIP fund pool. Practice payment rate caps are only applicable for the identified EQIP fund pool. The following is a summary list of payment rate caps.

Historically Underserved Producers

  • Historically underserved producers (limited resource farmers/ranchers, beginning farmers/ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, Tribes and Veterans) may be eligible for increased payment rate to support implementation of conservation practices and conservation plans.
  • Historically underserved producers are also be eligible for advance payments up to 50 percent of the cost needed to purchase materials or contracting services to begin installation of approved conservation practices.
  • Historically underserved producers can find definitions for each category and additional information here.



RaeAnn Dubay, Program Manager
Phone: 530-792-5653

Erik Beardsley, Program Specialist
Phone: 530-792-5649