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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

EQIP_Picture_2014

​Introduction

Utah Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat.

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EQIP Signup Opportunities in Utah

Those who are interested in EQIP should work with the local NRCS office to identify and plan the conservation measures you want on your land. Those who have previously developed a conservation plan with NRCS will already have the conservation planning step completed. Those who consider applying for EQIP for the first time should schedule a meeting with NRCS to discuss their options before moving forward. Local NRCS conservationists will help you develop a conservation plan, identify conservation measures and pursue funding through one of the EQIP signup options available in Utah.

Accepting Applications

EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis, however, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" or submission deadline dates for evaluation, ranking and approval of eligible applications. EQIP is open to all eligible agricultural producers and submitted applications may be considered or evaluated in multiple funding pool opportunities.

Current Utah Submission Deadlines:

All Utah EQIP Programmatic and landscape Initiative Fund Pools for FY2019 (Pools and Rankings are listed under "EQIP Programmatic and Landscape Initiatives Ranking Documents" in the below table)
Deadline for Applicants to Submit an Application for the Application Period.

Deadline: October 19, 2018

Please visit your local NRCS Field Office to complete a current NRCS-CPA-1200. The NRCS-CPA-1200 is the participant application used for the NRCS EQIP program.

OR

Visit Client Gateway  - Conservation Client Gateway is a secure online web application that gives landowners and land managers, operating as individuals, the ability to track their payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents anytime, anywhere.  Conservation Client Gateway provides users the flexibility to determine when they want to engage with NRCS online and when they prefer in-person conservation planning assistance.

Eligibility

Agriculture producers and owners of non-industrial private forestland and Tribes 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, Indian tribes 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.

What's New in EQIP?

  • The former Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program was folded into EQIP
  • Advance payment opportunities now exist for veteran agricultural producers
  • Advance payments for socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans were raised from 30 percent to 50 percent
  • Payment limitations are set at $450,000 from 2014 through 2018 with no ability to waive

Applicants must:

  • Control or own eligible land
  • Comply with adjusted gross income limitation (AGI) provisions
  • Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation requirements 
  • Meet EQIP Payment Limitations
  • Be registered in Duns/Sams for all entities that apply. Click link for more information on Duns/Sams 

Starting a practice prior to written contract approval will result in the ineligibility of that practice.

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply.

Participant Responsibilities

Applicants are responsible for completing and filing all application and eligibility paperwork as required. If funded, participants are required to sign a contract and agree to implement the planned conservation practices to NRCS standards and specifications as scheduled.

Socially Disadvantaged, Beginning Farmer, and Limited Resource Farmers/Ranchers, Military Veteran Farmers - (Historically Underserved, HU)

The 2014 Farm Bill continues to address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, as well as beginning and limited resource farmers and ranchers and Veteran Farmers. It provides for voluntary participation, offers incentives, and focuses on equity in accessing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services. Enhancements include increased payment rates and advance payments of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.

See the Small & Limited and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers page for the NRCS definition of the Historically Underserved and definitions for each category can be found here.

National and State Priorities

The following national priorities, consistent with statutory resources concerns that include soil, water, wildlife, air quality, and related natural resource concerns, may be used in EQIP implementation:

  1. Reductions of nonpoint source pollution, such as nutrients, sediment, pesticides, or excess salinity in impaired watersheds consistent with total maximum daily loads (TDML) where available; the reduction of surface and groundwater contamination; and the reduction of contamination from agricultural sources, such as animal feeding operations.
  2. Conservation of ground and surface water resources
  3. Reduction of emissions, such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and ozone precursors and depleters that contribute to air quality impairment violations of National Ambient Air Quality Standards
  4. Reduction in soil erosion  and sedimentation from unacceptable levels on agricultural land
  5. Promotion of at-risk species habitat conservation including development and improvement of wildlife habitat
  6. Energy conservation to help save fuel, improve efficiency of water use, maintain production, and protect soil and water resources by more efficiently using fertilizers and pesticides and
  7. Biological carbon storage and sequestration

In addition, Utah has identified the following priorities:

  1. Degraded Plant Condition - Excessive Plant Pest Pressure (Invasive Plant Species)
  2. Degraded Plant Condition – Wildfire Hazard, Excessive Biomass Accumulation (Wildfire)
  3. Fish & Wildlife - Inadequate Habitat - Habitat Degradation (At Risk Species)
  4. Inefficient Water - Inefficient Use of Irrigation Water (Water Quantity)
  5. Water Quality Degradation - Excess Nutrients in Surface Water and Groundwater (Water Quality)

Conservation Activity Plans (CAP) 

The Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) authorizes the use of financial assistance funds from the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to develop Conservation Activity Plans (CAP).  NRCS in Utah is offering "cost-share" to eligible EQIP clients for the development of any of the following CAPS (DOC, 45 KB), to be developed by Technical Service Providers.

Decision Making Process for EQIP 

Input from Outside Groups, Agencies, and Citizens: The list of eligible practices in Utah, payment rates and limits, eligible resource concerns, and state scoring criteria are developed based on input and recommendations from the State Technical Committee (STC). The STC is made up of representatives from various agribusinesses, producer groups, conservation organizations, and federal, state, and tribal government agency representatives.

The Local Work Group process and scoring criteria, are based on input from the counties in the Local Work Groups (LWG).

The priorities set at the state and county level are those that the STC and LWG respectively determined were of the greatest need and would have the greatest positive environmental impact. The scoring process at both the state and local level was developed in order to select those projects that would provide the greatest environmental benefit, and therefore provide the greatest public good.

Benefits 

Eligible program participants receive financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices, or activities like conservation planning, that address natural resource concerns on their land. Payments are made to participants after conservation practices and activities identified in an EQIP plan of operations are implemented. Contracts can last up to ten years in duration.

How to Apply in Utah

NRCS will help eligible producers develop a Utah EQIP plan of operations, which will become the basis of the Utah EQIP contract.

Utah EQIP applications will be ranked based on a number of factors, including the environmental benefits and cost effectiveness of the proposal.

Please visit your local USDA Service Center in Utah to apply.

2019 General Fund Pools & Ranking Documents
 

EQIP
Ranking Documents

  • National and State Questions for all rankings listed unless otherwise noted in specific ranking.

 

National and state ranking  attachment (Coming Soon)

EQIP Programmatic and Landscape Initiatives Ranking Documents
Wallsburg Watershed Improvement Project RCPP

Wallsburg Watershed Improvement Project Ranking

"Coming soon not part of the current Utah submission deadline" 

Sheeprock RCPP "Coming soon not part of the current Utah submission deadline" 
   

Click here for the FY2019 North Area Fund Pools (Coming Soon)

Click here for FY2019 South Area Fund Pools (Coming Soon)

                                   
Forestry Fund Pools FY2018 Forestry Ranking

 

 

2018 Eligible Resource Concerns and Conservation Practice Lists for Utah Fund Pools (unless noted in posted ranking documents).

2018 EQIP Cost Lists & Payment Schedules

RCPP-EQIP (XLS, 36 KB)  
   

EQIP General (XLS, 178 KB)

 

EQIP Initiatives and Salinity Fund Pools

 

 

Conservation Activity Plans (CAP)

The Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) authorizes the use of financial assistance funds from the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to develop Conservation Activity Plans (CAP).  NRCS in Utah is offering "cost-share" to eligible EQIP clients for the development of any of the following CAPS (PDF, 20 KB), to be developed by Technical Service Providers.

Benefits

Eligible program participants receive financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices, or activities like conservation planning, that address natural resource concerns on their land. Payments are made to participants after conservation practices and activities identified in an EQIP plan of operations are implemented. Contracts can last up to ten years in duration.

Identification Number & Registration

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) web link and telephone number 1-866-705-5711

System for Award Management (SAM) web link and telephone number 1-866-606-8220

Enacted March 23, 2018, the 2018 Omnibus bill amended title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 to provide that producers or landowners eligible to participate in the NRCS conservation programs are exempt from the DUNS and SAM registration requirements at 2 CFR Parts 25 and 170. These producers or landowners are referred to as "exempted producers." This applies to the NRCS EQIP program.

More Information

Archives

Contact

James Huggard, Farm Bill Specialist
Phone: (435) 381-2300 Ext. 109
Email: james.huggard@ut.usda.gov

Pedro Ramos, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: 801-524-4552
Email: pedro.ramos@ut.usda.gov