Environmental Quality Incentive Program

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a program administered through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).  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.

Local Priorities and Strategic Implementation Areas

Priorities for EQIP funding are established locally, based on locally identified natural resource needs consistent with state and national EQIP priorities.  Local Work Groups convened by local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) provide advice to NRCS about natural resource issues and priorities within their counties. EQIP applications are evaluated based on these county priorities and are then prioritized for funding. Applications that best address natural resources as described in the ranking criteria are prioritized for funding.

In Yamhill County we have two strategic implementation areas available for which landowners and operators can apply for assistance. One focuses on improving local water quality and the other is a regional area that focuses on forest management for fire prevention.  

For more information on the Strategic Implementation Areas please click here.

Benefits of EQIP

Eligible program participants receive technical and financial 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. 

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/Conservation Activity Plan.
  • Engineering designs

Financial Assistance: As part of the EQIP program, participants receive financial assistance to offset the costs associated with installation and adoption of conservation practices.  Each fiscal year the rates of payment can change so projects done through EQIP in previous years may not have the same rate of payment as the current fiscal year.  Typical practices include but are not limited to:

  • Brush Management
  • Conservation Cover
  • Irrigation Efficiency Upgrades
  • Field Buffers
  • Heavy Use Areas
  • Forest Management Plans
  • Cover Cropping
  • Pre-commercial Thinning

EQIP 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.

To be eligible 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 with NRCS planner 

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. 

How to Apply

Please visit your local USDA Service Center to apply and for more information on the EQIP program. 

Additional Resources on NRCS Programs

Please visit NRCS.gov for more information EQIP and other NRCS programs in Oregon.