IN Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

USDA: Natural Resource Conservation Service of Indiana


Grant amount: Up to US $450,000

Anticipated deadline: Dec 15, 2018

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Working Professional For-Profit Business College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Indiana

Location of residency: Indiana

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Overview:

IN Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working agricultural land. EQIP is open to all eligible agricultural producers without discrimination or bias.

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. EQIP dollars can be used for wildlife enhancement, livestock watering facilities, pastureland improvement, manure management, soil health practices (e.g., cover crops or no till), water quality practices, forestry management, etc. Payments are made to participants after conservation practices and activities identified in an EQIP plan of operations are implemented.

NRCS will help eligible producers develop a conservation plan, which will become the basis of the EQIP application. 

National Priorities

The following national priorities, consistent with statutory resources concerns that include soil, water, wildlife, air quality, and related natural resource concerns, may be used in EQIP implementation:

  • Reductions of nonpoint source pollution, such as nutrients, sediment, pesticides, or excess salinity in impaired watersheds consistent with total maximum daily loads (TMDL) where available; the reduction of surface and groundwater contamination; and the reduction of contamination from agricultural sources, such as animal feeding operations
  • Conservation of ground and surface water resources
  • Reduction of emissions, such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and ozone precursors and depleters that contribute to air quality impairment violations of National Ambient Air Quality Standards
  • Reduction in soil erosion and sedimentation from unacceptable levels on agricultural land
  • Promotion of at-risk species habitat conservation including development and improvement of wildlife habitat
  • Energy conservation to help save fuel, improve efficiency of water use, maintain production, and protect soil and water resources by more efficiently using fertilizers and pesticides and
  • Biological carbon storage and sequestration

State Priorities

In addition, Indiana has identified the following priorities:

  • Grazing management: fencing, stockwater systems, range and pasture planting
  • Nutrient management: manure storage structures, planned nutrient applications, soil testing
  • Pest management: crop and pest monitoring activities
  • Erosion control: grade control structures, diversions, water and sediment control basins
  • Wildlife habitat enhancement: stream buffers, upland wildlife habitat establishment

These and the many other measures included in EQIP can help producers accomplish a variety of operational goals, which may include:

  • Improvements to the long-term productivity and sustainability of an agricultural operation;
  • Improved condition of crops and forage for livestock;
  • Reduced costs for fuel, labor, fertilizers and pesticides;
  • Energy efficient systems and field operations; and
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Farmers and owners of non-industrial private forestland and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for EQIP.
  • Eligible land includes cropland, pastureland, non-industrial private forestland and other farmlands.
  • 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.