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FY11 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

FY11 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - Utah

About the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) to provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Additional information about this environmental improvement program can be found on the NRCS National Website. For application assistance and sign up deadlines please contact your local NRCS office.

EQIP Signup Opportunities in Utah

Those who are interested in EQIP should work with the local NRCS office to identify and plan the conservation measures you want on your land. Those who have previously developed a conservation plan with NRCS will already have the conservation planning step completed. Those who consider applying for EQIP for the first time should schedule a meeting with NRCS to discuss their options and develop a conservation plan before moving forward.

Local NRCS conservationists will help you develop a conservation plan, identify conservation measures and pursue funding through one of the EQIP signup options available in Utah.

2011 Seasonal High Tunnels for Food and Other Specialty Crop Production

Natural resource benefits from using tunnel structures may include: improved plant quality, improved soil quality, and improved water quality through methods such as reduced nutrient and pesticide transport. During the pilot period, eligible agricultural producers may apply for EQIP financial assistance for high tunnels, but only for manufactured tunnels covering up to 2,178 square feet (approximately 30 ft x 72 ft) per farming operation. The high tunnel will have an expected practice life of 4 years.

2011 Sage Grouse Initiative

Utah landowners within several western slope counties are encouraged to visit with their local NRCS field office and inquire about developing a conservation plan that when implemented will help reduce the threats to the Sage Grouse.  NRCS will utilize its Environmental Quality Incentive’s Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentive’s Program (WHIP) to implement the initiative and although a conservation plan isn’t required for enrollment, all applications which include an NRCS approved conservation plan, will receive priority status for enrollment consideration.

2011 Organic Initiative

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Utah has $1.2 million in fiscal year 2011 set aside to assist organic farming operations and individuals transitioning to organic farming.

The 2008 Farm Bill highlights the availability of financial and technical assistance to help producers of all commodities meet their conservation goals, including producers transitioning to organic farming and currently certified organic producers. The assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the EQIP program helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to allow their organic operations to be environmentally sustainable. EQIP is primarily used to provide financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices to address soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources. A new organic provision targets organic producers and producers transitioning to organic production:

  • Assistance is for conservation practices related to organic production
  • Assistance is limited to $20,000 per year and $80,000 during a six year period
  • Producers are required to develop and carry out an Organic System Plan (OSP) or carry out practices consistent with an OSP
  • Producers must be pursing an organic certification or in compliance with their organic certification


2011 Conservation Innovation Grants

Utah will not be offering the CIG component of EQIP this Fiscal Year.  CIG is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals.

2011 Air Quality Initiative

Utah Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is assisting agricultural producers with reducing ozone precursors [oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC)] emissions from agricultural sources. The primary goal is to achieve and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) within the designated nonattainment areas of Utah.

The NRCS is providing payments for participants implementing conservation practices on their lands that benefit air quality. The priority is to reduce airborne particulates by removing existing, high polluting combustion systems and replacing with new, cleaner technologies phrase and by improving cropping and tillage systems. Funding for this initiative is provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

2011 Energy Initiative

Conservation funding for energy-related conservation activities is available to producers in Utah. Financial and technical assistance is available through the On-Farm Energy Audit/Implementation Initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

EQIP Funding Selection and Priorities

Priorities for EQIP funding are established with input from Utah’s strong conservation partnership based on locally identified natural resource needs consistent with state and national EQIP priorities. Local Work Groups convened by local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) provide advice to NRCS about natural resource issues and priorities within their counties. EQIP applications are evaluated based on these county priorities and are then prioritized for funding. Applications that best address natural resources as described in the ranking criteria are prioritized for funding.

Some funds are distributed via “state fund pools” to address animal waste, air quality, wildlife issues, etc. Funds are also distributed to counties, to address resource concerns on Pasture and Rangeland, Dry Cropland/Hayland, Irrigated Cropland/Hayland, Riparian areas, and non-industrial private forestland.

Click here for the 2011 State Fund Pools
Click here for 2011 Local Fund Pools

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

Fact Sheet (PDF, 1 MB)

If your business or organization plans to apply for conservation program or grant funding through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), or another federal agency, you may need to request an identification number through the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS).

Obtaining a DUNS number is free for all entities doing business with the federal government. This includes grant and cooperative agreement applicants and prospective applicants and federal contractors. The process to request a DUNS number takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

Telephone Instructions: Contact D&B through their toll-free phone number at: 1-866-705-5711.

On the web:

For More Information

NRCS National EQIP Website


Tim Julander, Program Specialist
Phone: 801-524-4561

Pedro Ramos, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone:  801-524-4552

Archived EQIP Information