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EQIP - Application Information

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EQIP offers technical help for planning and designing conservation practices that protect our water and air, improve soil health, enable us to better care for farm animals, manage animal waste, and sustain our agricultural land. EQIP also offers financial assistance to make these practices more affordable.

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How to Apply for NRCS Programs like EQIP:

        Applicants should contact their local USDA Service Center to speak with an NRCS employee. Our Soil Conservationists and/or Program Assistants can provide you with the most timely information to help you successfully apply for the AMA program.
        You can find your local field office by selecting this line above, or visiting our  Field Office Page here.

When To Apply for EQIP:

        Applications for AMA are accepted on a continuous basis - applicants can apply year-round. The NRCS does establish deadlines throughout the year to pool and group current batches of applications in order to rank them and obligate funding.

For information on the most recent application deadlines, please visit the State News Release Page.

Application Ranking

Applications will be ranked according to local resource concerns and the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide. Applications demonstrating the highest environmental benefit will be awarded contracts until NH EQIP funds have been exhausted.

Who Can Apply for EQIP:

       All private landowners and operators who are engaged in forestry, wildlife management, crop, or livestock production on eligible land may participate in the EQIP Program. Eligible land includes cropland, pasture, hayland, forestland or other lands on which crops or livestock are produced. Participation is voluntary.
       Once you have a conservation plan and would like to apply for EQIP funds to help you implement your list of recommended conservation practices, we will help you understand the program eligibility process.
       NRCS will evaluate your completed eligibility forms and needed practices. After you have finalized practice decisions and agree to move forward, we’ll work with you on the application. EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis, but they are considered for funding during specific ranking periods. Once you have passed eligibility and finalized practice decisions, your application is eligible to be considered for the next ranking period.

More information about eligibility for the EQIP program can be found here.

Additional Assistance for Historically Underserved Producers:

Historically underserved (HU) participants are eligible for advance payments to help offset costs related to purchasing materials or contracting services through AMA.

You can find out more about historically underserved producers here.  

Implementing the Contract and Getting Paid

Once you have been selected and sign the contract, you will be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice(s) and you will have a specified time to implement them. The contract will be carried out, in part, according to the conservation plan that you developed. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you will receive the predetermined payment rate for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications. All practices established with EQIP funding must be maintained for the life span of the practice.

Payment Rates and Limitations

EQIP offers payment rates for installed practices to eligible producers based on allowable average costs for the region. Historically underserved producers may qualify for a higher practice payment rate. The total limitation on EQIP payments is $450,000 per individual or entity member for the period from 10/1/2019 to 9/30/2023, regardless of the number of farms or contracts. Payments are made to participants once conservation practices are completed according to NRCS requirements and certified by NRCS staff.

What We Can Help With

The first step for you as a producer is to think about your farming operation. Farming is a profession that is often intimately connected with the land. So, start by thinking about your land and its natural resources, such as soil, water, air, plants, and animals. What are your natural resource needs, areas where you need more information, or have a feeling there may be problem? Some examples could be:

  • Do my pastures seem healthy?
  • Is the water as clean when it leaves my property as when it arrived?
  • What can I do to improve wetlands or wildlife habitat on my land that might also help my operation?
  • Is there evidence of soil erosion or water runoff from my field?
  • Is there dirty water running off my barnyard area?
  • Do I have good access to my woodlot?
  • Is a pond near my property starting to look green and scummy?
  • Am I doing some things on my farm that I know are good for the natural resources?
  • Do I have a good water supply?
  • I don't know how much fertilizer to use
  • Do I have too much manure around?
  • Are my animals digging up streambanks or wet spots?
  • Do I have gullies or areas that are eroding?
  • How can I control pests without too many pesticides?
  • How can I start composting?
  • My neighbors have complained about odors
  • Could I be wasting water?
  • My farm is next to a lake, river, stream

These are just some of the natural resource questions that could come up when you are thinking about your farming operation. Since it is our business to help people deal with their natural resources and promote stewardship, these are the main types of issues that could be addressed by us.
    Also, it is critical all the decision-makers in your farming operation participate in this process. Good communication at this point among the business partners cannot be underrated!

Do You Have Questions?

     To find out more about AMA and other conservation programs, visit your local USDA Service Center and talk with someone from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, or your local Conservation District. For office locations, click here.

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