Skip Navigation

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

EQIP Header

Overview

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary, conservation program administered by NRCS that can provide financial and technical assistance to install conservation practices that address natural resource concerns.

Interested Applicants

For more information about EQIP, how to apply and program eligibility, interested applicants should contact a NRCS field office in the county which you own land or where you have an agricultural operation. 

Visit  USDA Service Center Locator to find the NRCS representative for your county.

Submitting an Application

Any interested farmer or rancher may submit an application for participation EQIP. The Director has established a sign-up period to select the highest ranked applications for funding based on the NRCS ranking process, contract approval is dependent on program eligibility determinations.

Ranking Process

The Director, in consultation with the State Technical Committee has developed ranking criteria to prioritize and subsequently fund applications addressing priority natural resource concerns in The Pacific Islands Area. EQIP funding decisions are based on an evaluation process that includes pre-screening and ranking criteria. Pre-screening is used to prioritize assistance based on factors such as a history of contract compliance. NRCS uses the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) to assess the site vulnerability, existing conditions, and identify potential resource concerns on a unit of land.   After CART assessment, NRCS uses CART Ranking to evaluate an application in all applicable ranking pools.

Fiscal Year 2020 EQIP Schedule

Batching 
Period
Applicable Ranking Pools Ranking
Deadline
Funding
Selections
Approval
Deadline
Contract Obligation
Deadline
1 All EQIP Ranking Pools May 15, 2020 May 18-29, 2020 July 20, 2020 August 14, 2020

 


 

Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 EQIP Ranking Pools

 

Eligible PIA Area

May 15, 2020  Ranking Deadline

HI

AS

CNMI

GU

Local Fund Pools (Competition is Within the Field Office Authorities)

 

 

 

 

Cropland

Addresses natural resource concerns on cropped lands to deliver environmental conservation benefits.  Croplands may include orchards, truck crops, flowers, etc.

Conservation benefits may include improved water or air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.

Each field office has a cropland fund pool.  Applicants compete within the local field office fund pool. 

x

x

x

x

x

Grazed Lands (Pasture & Range)

Addresses natural resource concerns on pasture and rangelands grazed by domestic livestock. 

Conservation benefits may include improved water or air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.

Each field office has a grazed land fund pool.  Applicants compete within the local field office fund pool. 

x

x

x

x

x

PIA Fund Pools (Competition is PIA-Wide in Each Fund Pool)

 

 

 

 

Historically Underserved

The farm bill continues to address the unique circumstances and concerns of historically underserved farmers to provide for voluntary participation, offers incentives and focuses on equity in accessing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services.

  • Beginning Farmers/Ranchers (BFR)

Socially Disadvantaged Farmers/Ranchers (SDFR)

x

x

x

x

x

Farmstead / Animal Feeding Operations

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns on farmstead areas with animal feeding operations.  Applicants must have a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) prior to obligation and meet all state, federal and local regulations.

x

x

x

x

x

Wildlife

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for on all eligible lands to create, restore, or protect wildlife habitat.  The wildlife habitat will be species specific. 

x

x

x

x

x

Forestlands

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices to improve native forest ecosystems.  This fund pool is limited to forest lands suitable for growing trees.

x

x

x

x

x

High Tunnel System

The purpose of the “High Tunnel System” conservation practice is to assist producers to extend the growing season for high-value crops in an environmentally safe manner.  The practice has the potential to assist producers to address resource concerns by improving plant quality, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport.

x

x

x

x

x

Soil Health Initiative

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices to improve soil health on cropland. 

x

x

x

x

x

National EQIP Initiatives

 

 

 

 

National Water Quality Initiative

(NWQI)

The National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) was established as a joint initiative with the NRCS and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address agricultural sources of water pollution, including nutrients, sediment, pesticides, and pathogens related to agricultural production and in priority watersheds.

[FY2020 – only Hilo Bay Watershed]

x

x

 

 

 

National Organic Initiative

Certified and Transitioning

Provides financial assistance to help implement conservation practices for organic producers and those transitioning to organic production to address natural resource concerns. It may assist growers meet requirements related to National Organic Program (NOP) requirements.  This initiative has annual and overall payment limitations.

x

x

x

x

x

On-Farm Energy Initiative

Enables the producer to identify ways to conserve energy on the farm through development of Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP) also known as an on-farm energy audit; and by providing financial and technical assistance to help the producer implement various conservation practices recommended in these on-farm energy audits.

xx

x

x

x

x

Partner Initiatives

 

 

 

 

Working Lands for Wildlife – Nene Initiative

This project is part of the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) partnership, a collaborative approach to conserve habitat on working lands. WLFW provides technical and financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). [Kealakekua FO only]

x

x

 

 

 

RCPP-EQIP-18

DLNR’s Hawaii Watershed Initiative

This partnership program is available on watershed partnership areas on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu. The natural resource concerns will address protection and enhancement of Threatened and Endangered wildlife habitat, water quality improvement, reduce soil erosion and invasive vegetative species on high priority forest lands. Monitoring is a requirement of those selected for the program.

x

x

 

 

 

RCPP-EQIP-17

DLNR’s Hawaii Watershed Initiative

This partnership program is available on watershed partnership areas on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. The natural resource concerns will address protection and enhancement of Threatened and Endangered wildlife habitat, water quality improvement, reduce soil erosion and invasive vegetative species on high priority forest lands. Monitoring is a requirement of those selected for the program.

x

x

 

 

 

Spittlebug Restoration Initiative

The “Two Lined Spittlebug Initiative” will assist producers to restore cover, prevent soil erosion and impacts to water quality and prevent further degradation of grazing land plant communities impacted by the bug on limited areas of the Big Island of Hawaii. [Kealakekua FO only]

x

x

 

 

 

Joint Chiefs Initiative

The United States Forest Service (USFS) and the NRCS have entered into a multi-year partnership to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands. [West Maui only]

x

x

 

 

 


Program Contact

Chad Cherefko, Assistant Director for Programs
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Honolulu State Office, Hawaii
Phone:808-600-2959
Email: Chad.Cherefko@usda.gov