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How to Apply for EQIP

Applicants are encouraged to request a conservation plan from their local NRCS field office to support their EQIP application. A conservation plan is the basis for an EQIP contract. An NRCS approved conservation plan will describe the resource concerns of the client and the agency as well as the conservation practices to be implemented. It will also detail the timing, location, and specification of implementing the practices to achieve the desired environmental benefits.

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Application Process

  1. Interested applicants must complete and sign an electronically generated application Form NRCS-CPA-1200 (PDF; 52 KB),  Conservation Program Application.

    EQIP sign-up is continuous but there will be multiple ranking cut-offs throughout each year.
     
  2. A conservation plan will be developed to determine resource concern(s) that can be addressed through implementation of approved EQIP conservation practices.
     
  3. NRCS will then rank the application using criteria developed for the appropriate fund pool.
     
  4. If the application is selected for financial assistance, the applicant will work with NRCS to make an appointment to finalize the conservation plan, practice designs/specifications and schedule of operations prior to signing the contract for fund obligation.
     
  5. Both NRCS and the participant must sign the contract prior to implementation of any planned conservation practices. Any practice scheduled for financial assistance commenced prior to fund obligation is ineligible for payment.

Applicant's Responsibility

  1. An applicant must provide a correct legal name, address and social security number or tax identification number to NRCS.
     
  2. The applicant must be able to provide proof, upon request, that they have control of the land for the proposed contract period.
     
  3. Applicant must provide a landowner agreement to install structural practices if the applicant does not own the land.
     
  4. Applicants must be determined eligible by NRCS prior to the start of ranking cut-off periods in order to be considered for funding.
     
  5. If approved for funding, the participant must begin implementation of at least one approved conservation practice within the first 12 months of the contract, and continue practice implementation according to the contract schedule.
     
  6. Form SF-1199A, Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form, must be completed and submitted to the NRCS field office in order to receive electronic payment.
     
  7. The applicant must complete and submit to the FSA county office or NRCS field office, Form AD-1026, "Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification."
     
  8.  Form CCC-931, "Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information," must be completed by the applicant and submitted to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office or NRCS field office.
     
  9.  If the applicant is an entity or joint operation, Form CCC-901A, Member’s Information, will be required.
     
  10. If the applicant is an entity or joint operation, members must complete From CCC-931, "Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information," and submit to the local FSA county office or NRCS field office.

  11. If the applicant files taxes under with an EIN (Employer Identification Number) then the applicant must provide a Dun and Bradstreet DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS), number and register the DUNS number with System Award Management (SAM) at the website. If an applicant receives a contract the DUNS number must be annually re-registered with SAM. No fees are associated with DUNS numbers or SAM registration. 
  12. Limited resource producers and beginning farmers and ranchers must be able to provide proof, upon request, that they meet the criteria for a limited resource producer or a beginning farmer or rancher.

How EQIP Works in Texas

EQIP is a continuous sign-up program that allows landowners or operators to apply for financial assistance in order to plan and apply certain conservation practices. Higher priority will be given to those applications that address national, state and local priorities.

The USDA-NRCS in Texas supports the locally led process through local work groups (LWG) and provides a portion of each years’ EQIP funding to meet local resource needs. The State Technical Committee provides input in determining the conservation practices that will be eligible for financial assistance to treat the identified resource concerns.

Historically Underserved (Socially Disadvantaged, Beginning, and Limited Resource Farmers/Ranchers)

EQIP provides assistance for conservation concerns of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, as well as beginning and limited resource producers including Veteran Farmers which includes higher payment rates to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract. Texas is committed to reaching out to Historically Underserved individuals. See the national webpage, Small & Limited and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers for the NRCS definition of the Historically Underserved.

Land Eligibility 

In order to be considered for EQIP funding the land offered must be linked to an eligible agricultural producer as determined by the Farm Services Agency. .  Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and associated lands.

Ranking Pools

Eligible persons may elect to apply under any funding pool available in their location. Typically, ranking pools are established by land use or a special initiative.

Contacts

Contact your local field office for more information.