Skip Navigation

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

eqip landing page banner

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.

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.

Eligibility

Agricultural 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.

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
  • Develop an NRCS EQIP plan of operations

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. 

EQIP Program Application Cutoff Dates

Sign-Up Option

Description

Application Cutoff Dates

General EQIP

Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration.

FY 2019 Statewide beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged ranking questions and practice list

FY 2019 Statewide beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged Screening Tool

Ranking and Screening Tools by Teams - See section below table

Fact Sheet

February 15, 2019 and
April 19, 2019

Emergency Animal Mortality Initiative

Up to $300 per animal is available to eligible producers agricultural producers in Yakima, Franklin, Benton, Adams, Kittitas, Grant and Whitman counties to assist with the recovery of costs for transport and disposal of animal carcasses resulting from blizzards in February of 2019. Funding is limited, and applications will be subject to a ranking system. 

Ranking Tool

March 22, 2019

High Tunnel System

A Program available to agricultural producers, designed to strengthen local and regional food markets and increase the use of sustainable conservation practices that will improve plant and soil quality, reduce nutrient and pesticide transport and reduce energy inputs.  Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration.

2019 High Tunnel Application Ranking Questions and Practice List

2019 High Tunnel Screening Tool

Fact sheet

February 15, 2019 and 
​April 19, 2019

Energy Initiative

Assist producers to conserve energy on their farms through an Agriculture Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit and provide assistance to implement various recommended measures identified in an energy audit. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration.

FY 2019 On-Farm Energy Application Ranking Summary

FY 2019 National Energy and E CAP Screening Tool

Fact Sheet

February 15, 2019 and 
​April 19, 2019

Organic Initiative

Special EQIP funding is available to organic growers and those transitioning to organic production. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration.

2019 Organic Application Ranking Questions and Practice List

2019 Organic Screening Tool

Fact Sheet

Organic-ASK_NRCS-Brochure-18

February 15, 2019 and 
​April 19, 2019

Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs)

A Conservation Activity Plan or CAP can be developed for producers to identify conservation practices needed to address a specific natural resource need. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration.

2019 CAPs Application Ranking Questions and Practice List

2019 Screening Tool for all CAPs

2019 Energy CAP Application Ranking Questions and Practice List

2019 Energy CAP National Energy Cap Screening Tool

February 15, 2019 and 
​April 19, 2019

National Water Quality Initiative

The National Water Quality Initiative will work in priority watersheds to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners improve water quality and aquatic habitats in impaired streams. NRCS will help producers implement conservation and management practices through a systems approach to control and trap nutrient and manure runoff. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration.

FY19 NWQI Nooksack River __ Ranking Tool

TBD

National Air Quality Initiative

This initiative is designed to help producers meet air quality compliance requirements, as well as an opportunity to support practices which address impacts associated with particulate matter and greenhouse gases. In eligible counties, this initiative will provide eligible producers with program support to address serious air quality concerns from agricultural operations and help meet regulatory requirements.

2019 Air Quality Application Ranking Questions and Practice List (PM 2.5)

2019 Air Quality Application Ranking Questions and Practice List (PM 10)

2019 Air Quality (Forest) Ferry and Stevens P.O.

2019 Air Quality Screening Tool

Fact Sheet

February 15, 2019 and 
​April 19, 2019

Joint Chief's Landscape Restoration Partnership

These projects build on existing projects and partnerships. By leveraging technical and financial resources and coordinating activities on adjacent public and private lands, conservation work by NRCS and FS will be more efficient and effective in these watersheds. 

Not available in FY2019

State EQIP Initiatives

   
Washington's Wildfire Initiative  

Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications from agricultural producers statewide who were impacted by wildfires. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration. 

2019 Wildfire Rest and Deferred Grazing Ranking Questions and Practice List

2019 Wildfire Screening Tool

February 15, 2019 and 
​April 19, 2019

Olympia Oyster Habitat Restoration 

Financial and technical assistance is available from NRCS through EQIP for individual producer contracts to help restore Olympia Oysters. EQIP funding will help pay for the shell substrate essential for the Olympia Oysters to grow upon as well as seeded cultch bags. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration.

Fact Sheet

Screening _Tool_ FY19_Olympia Oyster_ EQIP

TBD
Salmon Recovery Funds

Washington NRCS will obligate Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) financial assistance funding to support implementation of innovative, outcome-oriented conservation projects that will lead to improvements in salmon habitat. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration. 

Salmon Recovery Funds Screening Tool- Central- FY19

Salmon Recovery Funds Screening Tool- East- FY19

Salmon Recovery Funds Screening Tool- West- FY19

Salmon Recovery Funds Screening Tool- Tribal- FY19

Fact Sheet

February 15, 2019 and 
​April 19, 2019
Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI)

NRCS developed the Sage-grouse Initiative to help private landowners voluntarily conserve sage-grouse populations and habitat on their working lands. In Washington, NRCS identified potential threats to sage-grouse and their habitat and determined specific conservation practices to reduce those threats. Technical and financial assistance through EQIP is available for implementing the specific practices. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Eligible producers and entities interested should submit their applications for consideration. 

2019 SGI Ranking Questions and Practice List

2019 SGI Screening Tool

February 15, 2019 and 
​April 19, 2019

General EQIP Ranking and Screening Tools

2019 Round 3

Statewide Tribal

Statewide Tribal Blue Ribbon Project ___FY19 Ranking tool

Statewide Tribal, DEGR. Plant Cond. Tribal Gov t ___ FY19 Ranking tool

Statewide Tribal, DEGR. Plant Condition Others  __ FY19 Ranking tool

Statewide Tribal, ExcessInsuf t Water, Tribal Govt __ FY19 Ranking tool

Statewide Tribal, Excess-Insuffic t Water, Others  __ FY19 Ranking tool

Statewide Tribal, Hab. for Fish others ___ FY19 Ranking tool

Statewide Tribal, Hab. for Fish Tribal Govt   ___  FY19 Ranking tool

Statewide Tribal, Water Quality Degr Trib. Gov t ___ FY19 Ranking Tool

Statewide Tribal, WQ DEGR. Others FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_Tool_FY19_Tribal_EQIP
 

Snake River Team

SRT Crop FISH and WL __ _ FY19 Ranking tool

SRT Crop Soil Degradation-Organic Matter Depletion ___ FY19 Ranking tool

SRT Crop WATER - Inefficient Use of Irr. Water __ FY19  Ranking tool

SRT Forest DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod.  __ FY19 Ranking tool

SRT Other WQ - Pesticides in Surface  __ FY19 Ranking tool

SRT Range DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod.  ___ FY19 Ranking tool

SRT- WQ DEGR - Excess pathogens and chem  ___ FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_Tool_FY19_SRT_LWG_EQIP
 

Southwest Team

SWT Crop Water Quality, Wildlife, Irr. _____  FY19 Ranking tool

SWT Fish passage projects ____ FY19 Ranking tool

SWT Forest Plant Cond, Wildlife, Wildfire ___ FY19 Ranking tool

SWT Other WQ Sur. and Gr. _ __ FY19 Ranking tool

SWT Pasture WQ, and Plant Condition ___ FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_Tool_FY19_SWT_LWG_EQIP
 

West Palouse Team

WPT Crop FISH and WL __ _ FY19 Ranking tool

WPT Crop Soil Erosion Concentrated flow ___ FY19 Ranking tool

WPT Crop SOIL Organic Matter Depletion ___ FY19 Ranking tool

WPT Crop WATER - Inefficient Use of Irr. Water ___ FY19​

Screening_Tool_FY19_WPT_LWG_EQIP
 

Big Bend Team

BBT Crop SOIL EROSION - Sheet, Rill, and Wind Eros ____   FY19 Ranking tool

BBT Crop WATER - Inefficient Use of Irr. Water  ______  FY19 Ranking tool

BBT Crop WQ DEGR. - Pesticides to Surface   ____  FY19 Ranking tool

BBT Crop WQ DEGR. - Sed. in Surface Waters  ______  FY19 Ranking tool

BBT Forest DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod.   _____ FY19 Ranking tool

BBT Range and Pasture _____ FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_Tool_FY19_BBT_LWG_EQIP
 

North Central Team

NCT AIR QUALITY IMPACTS - Particulate Matter ___ FY19 Ranking tool

NCT Crop & Pasture - Inefficient use of irr. water __ __  FY19 Ranking tool

NCT DEGRAD. PLANT CONDITION - Undesirable plant ___  FY19 Ranking tool

NCT DEGRADATION - Organic matter depletion ___ FY19  Ranking tool

NCT Fish and Wildlife Habitat ___  FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_Tool_FY19 NCT EQIP
 

Northeast Team

NET Crop WATER - Inefficient Use of Irr. Water __  FY19 Ranking tool

NET Forest DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod. ___  FY19 Ranking tool

NET Other WQ DEGR. - Surface Waters ___  FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_tool_FY19_NET_LWG_EQIP
 

Northwest Team

NWT Fish and Wildlife non-fish passage ___ _  FY19 Ranking tool

NWT Fish Passage  ____  FY19 Ranking tool

NWT Forest Health-Management  ___  FY19 Ranking tool

NWT Inefficent Use of Irrigation Water __ FY19 Ranking tool

NWT Soil Health ___  FY19 Ranking tool

NWT Water Quality ___  FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_Tool_FY19_NWT_EQIP
 

Palouse Team

PLT Crop SOIL Organic Matter Depletion ___ FY19 Ranking tool

PLT Crop WQ DEGR. -Nutrients in Surface ___  FY19 Ranking tool

PLT Forest - DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod. ___  FY19 Ranking tool

PLT Pasture - DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod. __  FY19 Ranking tool

PLT Range DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod. ___  FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_Tool_FY19_PalouseTeam_EQIP
 

Puget Sound Team

PST DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod. __ FY19  Ranking tool

PST Fish and Wildlife—Habitat Degradation __  FY19 Ranking tool

PST SOIL Quality __ FY19  Ranking tool

PST WATER – Inefficient use of irr. Water  FY19 Ranking tool

PST WQ DEGR. nut. in sur.  FY19 Ranking tool

Screening _Tool_FY19_PST_LWG_ EQIP
 

South Central Team

SCT Range FISH and WL _ __FY19 Ranking tool

SCT Soil Health - Organic matter depletion  __ FY19 Ranking tool

SCT Crop FISH and WL__ FY19 Ranking tool

SCT Crop SOIL EROSION_sheet, rill_ FY19 Ranking tool

SCT Crop WATER – Inefficient Use of Irr. Water_ FY19 Ranking tool

SCT Crop WQ – Nutrients in Surface  ___ FY19 Ranking tool

SCT Forest DEGR PLANT COND. – Prod _ FY19 Ranking tool

SCT Pasture WATER – Inefficient Use of Irr. Water_ FY19 Ranking tool

SCT Range DEGR. PLANT COND. - Prod.  ___ FY19 Ranking tool

Screening_Tool_FY19_SCT_LWG_EQIP

 

Practice Payment Schedule 

NRCS provides financial assistance for selected conservation practices. Download the Washington payment schedules to see which activities qualify, and how much financial assistance is available. Practice scenarios show examples of how financial assistance payments are calculated.

How to Apply

The application process is a continuous process. 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 are 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 Washington.

Technical and Financial Assistance

Technical Assistance: Those who submit an application and are accepted into EQIP may receive technical assistance to plan conservation measures. Through EQIP, NRCS provides or covers the cost of professional technical services to develop conservation measures. This includes:

  • On-site assessments
  • Site-specific practice and management plans or Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs).
  • Engineering designs
  • Practice Payments: EQIP participants may also receive practice payments to offset the costs associated with the installation, cost of materials, and/or income lost with adoption of conservation measures. Practices that may be funded through EQIP are listed in the EQIP Practice

These include measures such as:

  • Manure management practices,
  • Efficient irrigation upgrades,
  • Forest management practices (Applicants must have an acceptable forest management plan in place in order to receive EQIP funding for forestry practices. This may be an NRCS Forest Management Activity Plan or other forest management plan; contact the local NRCS for more information.)
  • Erosion control and buffers,
  • Range and pasture planting,
  • Fencing and stockwater,
  • and many other activities.

Application Ranking Criteria and Selection

Annually, NRCS establishes one or more cutoff dates for applications to be evaluated and ranked for current year funding.  Any applications received after the cutoff date will be held for evaluation in a future ranking period.

The application ranking criteria for Washington State was developed in consultation with the 10 Local Work Groups (LWG) and the Tribal Work Group (TWG), based on National, state and local priorities and priority resource concerns.  The same application ranking criteria is used to evaluate all Tribal applications in the state. All other applications are ranked using the application ranking criteria for the LWG covering that geographic area.

Applicants selected for funding are not authorized to begin the installation of a conservation practice until they have a NRCS-CPA-1202, Conservation Program Contract, signed by the NRCS Contracting Officer.

Program Benefits for Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, and Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: 
EQIP provides enhanced benefits to historically underserved program participants. Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, and Beginning Farmers & Ranchers refers to groups that have not participated in or that in the past have received limited benefits through USDA programs. 
Click here for more information about Small & Limited and Beginning Farmers & Ranchers.

Funding Distribution

The distribution of EQIP financial assistance funds in Washington State will be accomplished by allocating funds to 10 Local Work Groups, and 1 Tribal Work Group.  The allocation to each Work Group was determined by the conservation needs in each Local or Tribal Work Group, national and state priorities and the time required to address the Local Work Groups conservation needs as well as national and state priorities. 

State Resource Assessment

Through the use of the State Technical Advisory Committee and Local Work Groups priority resource concerns and treatment areas have been identified. The 2009 and 2010 LWG process resulted in LWG resource assessments containing narratives and locally identified resource concerns.

This partnership has prepared a formal document describing the State Resource Assessment 2011: Priority Resource Concerns, Washington State, August 2011.

The State Resource Assessment is an integral document in setting resource concern priorities in every area in Washington State.

State Resource Assessment Accomplishment Report

The 2012 State Resource Assessment was the foundation for Washington NRCS to address the identified resource concerns on private and tribal lands. It was the basis for NRCS resource-based performance planning, workforce planning, and budget and allocation formulation, for fiscal years 2012 through 2015. 

NRCS program planning and delivery includes the SRA and TRA priority treatment areas as a part of the NRCS screening and ranking tools. Landowner applications for NRCS programs are given a higher ranking if the application addresses one or more of the SRA Priority Resource Concerns in these areas. 

To view the State Resource Assessment Accomplishment report, click here.

Contact

Your local NRCS Field Office for assistance.