EQIP General Program Description
Oklahoma EQIP Program Description
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The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that promotes agricultural production, forest management, and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers may receive financial and technical assistance to install or implement structural and management conservation practices on eligible agricultural land. EQIP was reauthorized in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2014 (Farm Bill). The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers EQIP. Funding for EQIP comes from the Commodity Credit Corporation. For a summary of changes both statutory and programmatic see 2014 Farm Bill Rules.
EQIP offers contracts with a term not to exceed 10 years. EQIP activities are carried out according to a conservation plan of operations developed with the program participants. Contracts with confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) are required to develop and implement a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP). The conservation practices must be installed in accordance with Oklahoma NRCS standards and specifications. Farmers and ranchers may elect to use a certified third-party provider for technical assistance, if available.
The EQIP program signup is open and continuous. Sign-up is conducted at the local USDA Service Centers. Applications are evaluated continuously and reviewed periodically to select high priority applications for contract development depending on fund availability. NRCS offices establish application evaluation periods locally and cut off dates each year when funds must be obligated. Rankings within all of these areas consider cost-effective practices, use of practices that treat multiple resource concerns, and environmental benefits. Practice payment rates have been set based upon recommendations from the Local Work Group and the Oklahoma State Technical Committee.
Producers engaged in livestock or crop production on eligible land may apply for the program. Eligible land includes cropland; rangeland; pastureland; private non-industrial forestland; and other farm or ranch lands, as determined by the Secretary.
EQIP Fact Sheet (PDF; 43 KB)
For additional information and assistance, contact your local NRCS Field Service Center.