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WHIP Eligibility Requirements


With the enactment of the Agricultural Act (February 7, 2014) funding provided for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) in FY-2014 is no longer available for obligations. WHIP is not reauthorized.

NRCS will honor and continue to support fiscal year 2014 WHIP program contracts using the rules and policy that was in effect at the time of contract obligations.

Portions of the WHIP Statute were rolled into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Anyone still interested in applying for wildlife projects in programs should go to the EQIP web page.


Eligibility requirements vary from program to program. Please call your local NRCS office to discuss your specific situation.

Requirements for participants:

To participate in WHIP, you need to:

  • be an individual, entity or joint operation.
  • have control of the land for the term of the proposed contract. Renting and leasing land is fine, as long as you can document that you have control of the land for the duration of your contract.

  • be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation (HELC) provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985.

  • have an average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $1 million dollars or less.

  • be in good standing with the terms of all other active USDA contracts.

Requirements for land:

Land enrolled in WHIP needs to:

  • be either farmland, grassland, non-industrial forest land, capable of growing trees or other land that NRCS determines is suitable for wildlife habitat.

  • be privately owned. Publicly owned lands are not eligible for WHIP.

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