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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

From weather to pests, and from a lack of time to markets, each American farmer faces a unique set of challenges. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, and improved or created wildlife habitat.

This voluntary conservation programs helps producers make conservation work for them. Together, NRCS and producers invest in solutions that conserve natural resources for the future while also improving agricultural operations. 

Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices. Using these practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations. Through EQIP, you can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with you.

How EQIP Works

To get started, NRCS first works one-on-one with you to develop a conservation plan that meets your goals and vision for the land. This becomes a roadmap for which conservation practices best meet your needs. 

Financial assistance covers part of the costs from implementing conservation practices. NRCS offers about 200 practices depending on where your land is located. These practices are geared towards working farms, ranches and forests and provide producers with many options for conservation. See a list of practices.  

The best way to learn if EQIP is a good fit for you is by contacting your local NRCS office. If you choose to move forward, your local NRCS conservationist will guide you through applying for the program. 

Applications are ranked, and if yours is funded, NRCS will offer you an EQIP contract to receive financial assistance for the cost of implementing practices.  Payment rates for conservation practices are reviewed and set each fiscal year. More information on this process is available on our How Do I Apply webpage

Section titles_Popular Practices



Cover Crops Forest stand Improvement Prescribed Grazing Web Irrigation

If you want to learn more about EQIP, you can contact your local NRCS office. Your NRCS conservationist will visit you and evaluate the natural resources on your land. NRCS will then present a variety of conservation practices or system alternatives to help you address those concerns or management goals to improve or protect the natural resource conditions on your land.

Once you have chosen the right conservation practices for your land, you may be offered an EQIP contract to receive financial assistance for the cost of implementing certain practices.  Payment rates for conservation practices are reviewed and set each fiscal year. 

Section titles_EQIP Initiatives

Targeted EQIP financial assistance is available through general EQIP, and several other initiatives. These initiatives address priority natural resource concerns on the most vulnerable lands, target conservation assistance in high priority watersheds, or help stimulate the development and adoption of innovation and technology.

Initiatives Graphic LinksHelps you install high tunnel systems to protect high-value crops and extend the growing season for healthy, local produce, thereby eliminating long-distance transport requirements and its related energy use and air quality impacts. Organic Initiative - Helps organic producers and those transitioning to organic apply practices that address concerns on their land and help growers meet National Organic Program (NOP) certification requirements.Air Quality Initiative - Helps you install conservation practices on your land, in specific regions to address air quality goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter, ozone precursors, or other agricultural-related air contaminants. On-Farm Energy Initiative - Helps you identify and engage in projects that conserve energy and improve efficiency through energy audits and system upgrades.Conservation Innovation Grant - Stimulates the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies on agricultural lands. Landscape Initiatives - Helps producers address priority concerns on their land by delivering science-based conservation solutions to vulnerable lands within targeted areas.Colorado River Basin Salinity Project - Helps you reduce salt mobilization and transport into the Colorado River, which helps protect the quality of water available to agricultural, municipal, and industrial water users in the United States and Mexico.







For EQIP information by state, including payment rates, application, and ranking information, click the image below.  

EQIP map ARCGIS image