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News Release

Apply by March 5 for Conservation Activity Plan Development through EQIP

February 7, 2020 -  The Vermont State Conservationist, in consultation with the USDA State Technical Committee, announced up to $350,000 in Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding is set aside for the development of Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs) in 2020. A special signup period has been announced for these plans beginning February 7, 2020 and ending March 5, 2020. 

For EQIP applications that have been previously submitted, applications have been carried over and will be considered during this special signup period, as well as later signup periods.

In addition, the State Conservationist will also begin accepting Early Start Waiver requests for beginning CAPs in the interim while applications are being evaluated.  To determine whether or not one of these waivers is right for you, please bear in the mind the following and consult with your local NRCS field office:

  • The applicant fully understands the EQIP application and waiver request in no way guarantees an EQIP contract will be awarded.

  • The CAP cannot be started until the waiver request is approved by the State Conservationist, or a contract is awarded (whichever comes first).

  • Beginning the CAP prior to the waiver approval or contract obligation will make the requestor ineligible for payment.

  • All additional eligibility requirements will need to be completed by the applicant prior to contract, if awarded.  This includes having records established with the Farm Service Agency and other EQIP eligibility requirements.

You can learn more about CAP's here. Details about EQIP can be found here.  

NOTE: Historically only fifty percent of applications for CAPs are funded annually and there is a chance that despite having an application submitted by the March 5, 2020 application deadline and an approved Early Start Waiver, your may not be approved for an EQIP contract. 

Forestry Management Plans (CAP 106):  Landowners interested in a Forest CAP 106 should understand that while the CAP 106 meets Use Value Appraisal (UVA) program plan standards there is no ability for NRCS and Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (VFPR) to coordinate program dates. For those forest landowners that hope to receive funding for a Forest CAP 106, it is recommended they apply for assistance two or more years prior to the UVA deadline.  Please note, gathering data necessary for the plan (e.g. forest inventory cruise) would be considered ‘starting’ the practice and therefore ineligible for payment.