The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved or created wildlife habitat, and mitigation against drought and increasing weather volatility.
How it Works
Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices.
Using these practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations.
Through EQIP, you can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with you.
- Reduction of contamination from agricultural sources, such as animal feeding operations
- Efficient utilization of nutrients, reducing input costs and reduction in nonpoint source pollution
- Increased soil health to help mitigate against increasing weather volatility and improved drought resiliency
The 2018 Farm Bill introduced EQIP incentive contracts to expand resource benefits to producers through incentive practices such as cover crops, transition to resource conserving crop rotations and precision agriculture technologies along with a similarly broad suite of incentive practices for ranchers and non-industrial private forest operators.
Every region within a State will have identified high-priority areas and each of these areas will target up to three priority resource concerns by land use. In addition to the payment for practice implementation, incentive contracts offer annual payments to address operations and maintenance costs as well as foregone income.
EQIP incentive contracts can be a stepping stone for producers between EQIP classic and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts.