NY Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of New York


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Jun 16, 2019

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

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: New York

Location of residency: New York

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Overview:

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, agricultural producers receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working agricultural land.

EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis, however, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" or submission deadline dates for evaluation, ranking and approval of eligible applications. EQIP is open to all eligible agricultural producers and submitted applications may be considered or evaluated in multiple funding pool opportunities.

National and State 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 non-point 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

In addition, New York has identified the following priorities:

  • Livestock: address natural resource concerns for storage, treatment, and management of animal waste and nutrients.
  • Cropland: assist producers with resource concerns on cropland such as soil health, soil quality, and erosion.
  • Water Quality: help producers with installing conservation practices such as Waste Storage Structures, Heavy Use Area Protection, Riparian Buffers, Cover Crops, Filter strips and Waterways to address phosphorus, pathogens, and sediment impairments that can relate to soil erosion, exposed soil, and the lack of riparian buffers or filter strips.
  • Forestry: producers with non-industrial private forestland may receive financial assistance to develop a forest stewardship plan or to implement practices within an approved forest stewardship plan.
  • Wildlife habitat enhancement: Targeted species, e.g., migratory birds, endangered and species of concern and their habitat, to reverse the decline and benefit other species with similar habitat needs.
  • Grazing: assist producers with approved grazing plan to treat resource concerns related to grazing systems including plant health and vigor, soil health, soil erosion and water quality.

Participant Responsibilities

Applicants are responsible for completing and filing all application and eligibility paperwork as required. Applicants cannot start any financially assisted practices, included in their application, prior to obligation of their contract. Practices started before contract obligation will be considered ineligible for payment.

If funded, participants are required to sign a contract and agree to implement the planned conservation practices to NRCS standards and specifications as scheduled. Participants must commence a practice, listed in their contract, in the first 12 months of the contract and complete all practices according to the schedule included in their contract.

Socially Disadvantaged, Beginning, and Limited Resource Farmers/Ranchers, Military Veteran Farmers

The 2014 Farm Bill continues to address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, as well as beginning and limited resource farmers and ranchers and Veteran Farmers. It provides for voluntary participation, offers incentives, and focuses on equity in accessing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services. Enhancements include increased payment rates and advance payments of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.

New York is committed to reaching out to Historically Underserved individuals and groups. Historically Underserved participants may also receive higher payment rates in addition to being considered in high priority funding pools. See the Small & Limited and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers page for the NRCS definition of the Historically Underserved.

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

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.
  • 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
  • Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. Learn more about the criteria required to become an eligible EQIP applicant.