The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is designed to improve ground and surface water quality and reduce soil erosion on cropland, forestland, grazing land, and recreational land. The federal government will share in the cost of implementing conservation practices on these lands. Examples of some conservation practices include:

  • Cropland – nutrient management, grassed waterways, terraces
  • Forestland – forest stand improvement, pruning, prescribed burning
  • Grazing Land – water diversions, fencing, animal waste management
  • Recreational Land – stream buffers, forest site preparation, brush management
Land Use Cropland, Grazing land, Forestland, Recreational land
Focus Cost-share payments, Incentive payments
Resource Concern Soil erosion, Water quality, Air quality, Wildlife habitat
Purpose The environmental purpose is to improve water quality, conserve both ground and surface water, reduce soil erosion from cropland and forestland, and improve grazing land.
Landowner Benefits Landowners receive technical assistance to reduce impacts to the environment. Payments of up to 75% of practice costs and 100% of income foregone from practice installation. Incentive payments are given to encourage producers to adopt land or forest management plans. The federal government may cover up to 90% and advance payments of up to 30% of the cost of implementing conservation measures for those who are beginning farmers or limited resource farmers.
Description The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical assistance and cost-sharing support for recommended management practices that benefit the environment. This includes improving groundwater quality, air quality, soil erosion, and increasing wildlife.
Practices Livestock manure management, grazing land management, soil erosion control, and water quality improvement practices are eligible for cost-share. Incentive payments may include the adoption of nutrient management, integrated pest management, irrigation water management, organic production and wildlife habitat enhancement.
Costs to Landowner Landowners will pay at least 50% of the management practices identified underEnvironmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP.
Eligibility Persons engaged in livestock, agricultural, or forestry productions are eligible. Land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is not eligible.
Contract The minimum contract is 1 year and maximum is 10 years.
Other Notes Ranking program includes national conservation priorities, cost-effectiveness of practices, how comprehensively project addresses resource issues, and whether it improves or completes conservation system.
Landowner Initiation
  • Contact the local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) where you own land.
  • Ask about enrolling land into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).