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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

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From weather to pests, each American farmer faces a unique set of challenges. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural and forestry 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.

Benefits

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.

Farmers Guide to 2018 Farm Bill Programs (PDF; 836 KB)

Program At A Glance

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, and addressing the natural resource concerns. This becomes a roadmap for which conservation practices best addresses the natural resource concern.

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.  

How to Apply

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 implementing practices. Payment rates for conservation practices are reviewed and set each fiscal year. 

Popular Practices

  • Cover Crops
  • Forest Stand Improvement
  • Prescribed Grazing
  • Irrigation

More Information

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 implementing certain practices.  Payment rates for conservation practices are reviewed and set each fiscal year. 

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.

National Webpages:

Program Contact

Jennifer Wurtz, Resource Conservationist, 605-352-1225
Jeff VanderWilt, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 605-352-1226