About the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promote agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land.
EQIP offers contracts that provide incentive payments and cost-share to implement conservation practices. Persons who are engaged in livestock or agricultural production on eligible land may participate in the EQIP program. EQIP cost-shares 50- to 75% of the costs of certain conservation practices. Incentive payments may be provided for up to three years to encourage producers to carry out management practices they may not otherwise use without the incentive. However, historically underserved groups are eligible for cost-share up to 90%. Historically Underserved individuals and groups are those who have not participated in or received limited benefits from USDA or NRCS programs.
The 2008 Farm Bill recognizes landowners/operators who are socially disadvantaged, have limited resources and are beginning farmers/ranchers as eligible for special incentives for program participation. These incentives may include increased payment rates, and evaluation under special funding pools. Historically Underserved individuals and groups include Limited Resource Farmers, Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Beginning Farmer.