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Tennessee EQIP Application Information

Application deadline for FY 2018 EQIP funding is Friday, November 17, 2017 by 4:00 p.m. 

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How EQIP Works in Tennessee


The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a continuous sign-up program that offers financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install and maintain conservation practices, including those related to organic production, on agricultural land or private nonindustrial forestland.

Details about sign up for EQIP are announced each year; applications can be made at the local USDA Service Center.

Applicants must pass the Tennessee EQIP Screening Tool in order to be ranked for the competitive contract-funding selection process. A contract containing an EQIP Plan of Operations that identifies the appropriate conservation practice or measures needed to address the resource concerns will be developed on applications that are accepted into the program. The practices are subject to NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions. If approved for funding, the participant must begin implementation of at least one practice within the first 12 months and continue practice implementation according to the contract schedule.

EQIP provides payment rates for each practice. Payment rates are higher for certain historically underserved producers (limited resource farmers/ranchers, beginning farmers/ranchers, veteran beginning farmers/ranchers and socially disadvantaged producers). Farmers and ranchers may elect to use a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) for technical assistance needed for certain eligible activities and services. The 2014 Farm Bill established a payment limitation for individuals or legal entity participants who may not receive, directly or indirectly, payments that, in the aggregate, exceed $450,000 for all program contracts entered during any six year period.

EQIP Application Information

Tennessee NRCS has implemented a local process that streamlines the application and evaluation procedures. The State Technical Advisory Committee and Local Work Groups (LWG) have recommended conservation practices eligible for financial assistance and ranking questions that will be used to evaluate applications in each fund code. All applications will be ranked using national, state and local questions.

The complete list of 2018 EQIP conservation practices is available below. Check with the local NRCS Field Office for specific LWG conservation practice priorities.

The following documents will require Adobe Acrobat format, click here for a free reader.


Agricultural producers and owners of non-industrial private forestland are eligible to apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farm or ranch lands.

Socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, and veterans are eligible for an increased payment rate and may receive advance payment of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.

Applicants must:  

  • Be engaged in agriculture or forestry and have a farm number and tract established with the Farm Service Agency
  • Comply with adjusted gross income limitation (AGI)  provisions
  • Control or own eligible land
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements
  • Develop an NRCS EQIP plan of operations

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. 

2018 EQIP General Program Description Documents

Some of the following documents may require Adobe Acrobat format, click here for a free reader.

Links to National Conservation Initiatives

National Water Quality Initiative
National Organic Initiative
Mississippi River Basin Initiative
High Tunnel System
National On-Farm Energy Initiative
Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Partnership

Tennessee Mississippi River Basin Initiative Watersheds

2017 MRBI Watersheds







2017 NWQI Watersheds







FY 2018 Requirement Sheets

To view the following documents in Adobe Acrobat format, click here for a free reader.

  • (118) Irrigation Water Management Plan Clarification 2016 (PDF; 385 KB)
  • (313) Compost Bedded Pack Barn Info Sheet (PDF; 237 KB)
  • (313) Requirement Sheet for Pack Barn 2016 (PDF; 208 KB)
  • (314, 315) Brush Management Herbaceous Weed Control (PDF; 84 KB)
  • (325) 2016 High Tunnel System Requirement Sheet (PDF; 246 KB)
  • (327) Conservation Cover--Perennial Food Plot (PDF; 162 KB)
  • (327) Conservation Cover--Permanent Wildlife Planting (PDF; 189 KB)
  • (327, 380, 381, 386, 390, 391, 612) EQIP Approved Planting Mixtures for Wildlife Habitat (PDF; 76 KB)
  • (338, 394) Prescribed Burning, Firebreak (PDF; 121 KB)
  • (340) TN 2016 EQIP Cover Crop Requirements with Strip Till (PDF; 110 KB)
  • (367) Requirement Sheet for Roofs and Covers 2016 (PDF; 292 KB)
  • (386) Field Border (PDF; 125 KB)
  • (390) Riparian Herbaceous Cover (PDF; 62 KB)
  • (391) Riparian Forest Buffer (PDF; 62 KB)
  • (422) Hedgerow Planting (PDF; 48 KB)
  • (441) Requirement Sheet for Irrigation System Micro 2016 (PDF; 151 KB)
  • (442) Requirement Sheet for Sprinkler System 2016 (PDF; 171 KB)
  • (449) Requirement Sheet for Irrigation Water Management 2016 (PDF; 172 KB)
  • (474) Requirement Sheet for Energy 2016 (PDF; 207 KB)
  • (511) Forage Harvest Management Requirement Sheet (PDF; 153 KB)
  • (528) Prescribed Grazing Requirement Sheet (PDF; 133 KB)
  • (533) Requirement Sheet for Pumping Plant 2016 (PDF; 221 KB)
  • (561) Requirement Sheet for Heavy Use Area 2016 (PDF; 143 KB)
  • (580, 584) Streambank and Shoreline Protection, Channel Bed Stabilization (PDF; 23 KB)
  • (590) Advanced NM Precision System Requirement Sheet (PDF; 55 KB)
  • (590) Basic NM Inorganic Fertilizer Only Requirement Sheet (PDF; 42 KB)
  • (590) Basic Organic NM System Requirement Sheet (PDF; 65 KB)
  • (590) Diversified Speciality Crop NM Plan Requirement Sheet (PDF; 64 KB)
  • (590) Precision Nutrient Management Requirement Sheet (PDF; 54 KB)
  • (612) Tree Shrub Establishment--Shortleaf Pine (PDF; 39 KB)
  • (612) Tree Shrub Establishment--Wildlife Habitat (PDF; 42 KB)
  • (612) Tree Shrub Establishment--Wildlife and Forestry (PDF; 46 KB))
  • (612) Tree Shrub Establishment--Black Cherry and Cherrybark Oak (PDF; 77 KB)
  • (642) Water Well Requirement Sheet (PDF; 334 KB)
  • (647) Early Successional Habitat Development and Management--Disking (PDF; 46 KB)
  • (647) Early Successional Habitat Development and Management--Edge Feathering (PDF; 45 KB)
  • (647) Early Successional Habitat Development and Management--Patch Cutting (PDF; 30 KB)
  • (657, 658, 659) Wetland Restoration, Creation, Enhancement (PDF; 59 KB)
  • (657, 658, 659) Wetland Restoration, Creation, Enhancement--TENNESSEE PARTNERS PROJECT (PDF; 51 KB)
  • (666) Forest Stand Improvement (PDF; 225 KB)
  • (670) Requirement Sheet for Lighting Sys Improvement (PDF; 183 KB)
  • (672) Requirement Sheet for Building Sys Improvement (PDF; 225 KB)
  • FIRI (Farm Irrigation Rating Index) (XLSM; 117 KB)
  • Instructions for Flowmeter Data Sheet--NE-ENG-83 (PDF; 99 KB)

FY 2018 Tennessee General Ranking Tools

MHTML documents will be downloaded to your computer; after downloading, they can be opened. To view the following documents in Adobe Acrobat format, click here for a free reader.

2018 Payment Schedules

How to Apply for EQIP

Note: Confidential and private information: Many of the program application forms and/or documents require the applicant to provide sensitive contact, financial or other confidential information. Disclosure of this data is voluntary, but failure to provide the required information in a timely manner may result in the deferral of an application or denial of a benefit payment. By law and policy, confidential, private and sensitive information is protected by USDA. Employees and agency partners are subject to penalty and disciplinary action for inappropriate or mismanagement of private data.

The screening tool is required for all applications. It consists of three questions and the criteria for answering the questions. A “no” answer to even one of the questions will cause an application to be put in deferred status until all questions can be answered yes. Applications in deferred status will not be ranked or funded.

Contact the USDA service center in the county where the land is located to apply for EQIP. Producers are advised to review eligibility requirements and update of farm records administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to make sure all records are current and correct before submitting an EQIP application. Producers who submit incomplete applications or whose farm records and certifications are not up to date may be deferred for current year program application. Specific application documents are listed on the Tennessee FY 2014 EQIP Screening Tool.


Sign up for E-mail updates on Tennessee's Financial Assistance (EQIP) Programs

For Local Work Group priorities, please visit the Local Service Center for your County.

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