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Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - FY 2016

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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.

What's New in EQIP?

Accepting Applications

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. The following document describes how to apply for Farm Bill programs or visit the following website: Get started with NRCS national page

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit

To apply for EQIP, contact your local service center.

Click here for more information on the Working Lands for Wildlife Southwestern Willow Flycatcher initiative.

Fiscal Year 2016 EQIP Deadlines

In 2015, Arizona is transitioning to a four funding cycle format for regular EQIP. Applications submitted by the funding cycle deadline will be evaluated to be considered for funding in that funding cycle. Applications received after that date will be accepted and evaluated for future rounds of funding.

Arizona FY16 EQIP Time Table (Application Deadlines)

Funding Cycle 2015 - 1 Oct. 2, 2015
Funding Cycle 2015 - 2 Jan. 8, 2016
Funding Cycle 2015 - 3 Apr. 1, 2016
Funding Cycle 2015 - 4 July 1, 2016


To apply for EQIP, contact your local service center.

Get Started with NRCS - Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease? NRCS offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. Learn how here.

Arizona EQIP Funding Pools and Ranking Documents



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:  

  • Develop an NRCS EQIP Conservation plan and plan of operations
  • 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

Additional restrictions and program requirements may apply. 

Note: Starting a practice prior to written contract approval will result in the ineligibility of that practice for EQIP assistance.

Participant Responsibilities 

Applicants are responsible for completing and filing all application and eligibility paperwork as required. If funded, participants are required to sign a contract and agree to implement the planned conservation practices to NRCS standards and specifications as scheduled and follow the eligibility and contractual requirements outlined in the NRCS-CPA-1202 appendix.

Participants that operate as an entity using an EIN are required to obtain a DUNS number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM). Sam is also referred to as CCR. Click here for additional information.

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. 

Arizona 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. 

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:

  • Water Quality Degradation
  • Water Conservation
  • Air Quality
  • Soil Health
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Plant and Animal Communities
  • Energy Conservation


  • Insufficient Water *

    • Inefficient use of irrigation water

    • Inefficient moisture management

  • Livestock Production Limitation

    • Inadequate livestock water

    • Inadequate feed and forage

  • Water Quality Degradation *

    • Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters

    • Excessive sediment in surface waters

  • Degraded Plant Condition *

    • Undesirable plant productivity and health

    • Inadequate structure and composition

    • Excessive plant pest pressure

  • Air Quality Impacts *

    • Emissions of Particle Matter (PM) and PM Precursors

    • Objectionable odors

  • Soil Quality Degradation

    • Concentration of salts or other chemicals

    • Organic matter depletion

    • Compaction

  • Inadequate Habitat for Fish and Wildlife

    • Habitat degradation

  • Soil Erosion *

    • Sheet, rill & wind erosion

  • Inefficient Energy Use

    • Equipment and facilities

    • Farming/Ranching practices & field operations

* Currently Ranked as Arizona’s Top Resource Concerns 


Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) points of contact

Office Phone
Email Address
Emily Fife
Assistant State Conservationist/ Programs
Jason Kepler
Resource Conservationist


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