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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Staff Contact: Tim Garrahan, Farm Bill Specialist

Phone: (302) 678-4260
FAX: (302) 678-0843


Delaware State EQIP Program Information

EQIP provides assistance to ag and forestry producers to address natural resource concerns.

From weather to pests, each American farmer faces a unique set of challenges. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural and forestry producers 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, and improved or created wildlife habitat. 

EQIP - 2020 - Program Information Coming Soon

Farmers can apply now for technical and financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The first EQIP application cutoff date for fiscal year 2020 is February 21, 2020.

Additional application cutoff dates are scheduled for the third Friday of each month until May 15, 2020. NRCS accepts applications year-round but makes funding selections at application cut-off deadlines.

Producers with applications in before the first application cut-off date will have a higher chance of application approval as funding is limited.

What's New in EQIP?

  • Advance payment opportunities now exist for veteran agricultural producers
  • Advance payments for socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource farmers, Indian tribes and veterans were raised from 30 percent to 50 percent
  • Payment limitations are set at $450,000 with no ability to waive


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. Payments are made to participants after conservation practices and activities identified in an EQIP plan of operations are implemented. Contracts can last up to ten years in duration.


National and State Resource Priorities

National Priorities

EQIP can provide financial and technical assistance to plan and design such measures as, but not limited to, the following.

  • 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.

State Priorities

  1. Reduction of non-point source pollutants including nutrients, sediment, and pesticides in impaired watersheds consistent with TMDL’s as well as the reduction of groundwater contamination.
  • Agricultural Waste Management Systems - Nutrients, Sediments
  • Integrated Crop Management Systems - Nutrients, Pesticides
  • Planned Grazing Management Systems - Nutrients, Sediments
  1. Conservation of ground and surface water resources
  • Irrigation Water Management Systems - Water conservation
  1. Reduction of emissions such as particulate matter and volatile organic compounds that contribute to air quality impairment.
  • Agricultural Waste Management Systems - Volatile organic compounds
  • Poultry House Windbreak Management Systems - Particulate matter
  1. Reduction in soil erosion and sedimentation from erodible land.
  • Erosion Control Systems - Sediments
  1. Promotion of at-risk species habitat recovery
  • Biodiversity Management Systems - Habitat recovery


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 an advance payment of up to 50 percent to purchase materials and services needed to implement conservation practices included in their EQIP contract.

Participant Responsibilities

  • Control or own eligible land
  • Comply with adjusted gross income limitation (AGI) provisions
  • Comply with DUNS and SAMS requirements if operate as an entity
  • 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.

Accepting Applications

EQIP applications are accepted through a continuous sign-up process. NRCS encourages customers to apply at any time and periodically announces cutoff dates when applications are ranked for funding. EQIP is open to all eligible ag producers. The following document describes how to apply for Farm Bill programs. EQIP Conservation Program Application (52 KB)- New Application Coming Soon.

Notice: Starting a practice prior to written contract approval will result in the ineligibility of that practice for EQIP assistance unless a waiver has been approved.

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

The 2018 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 streamlined delivery of technical and financial assistance; improved programs and services; and flexibility in decision making (with most decisions made at the Tribal, State, or local level)

For definitions of socially disadvantaged, beginning farmer, limited resource farmer and military veteran farmers, please click here.

How to Apply

Visit your local USDA Service Center to apply or visit

Delaware Local USDA Service Centers

New Castle County Agricultural Center
2430 Old County Road
Newark, Delaware 19702
Phone:302-832-3100 FAX:302-834-0783

Kent County Agricultural Center
Phone:302-741-2600 FAX:302-741-0347

Sussex County Agricultural Center
21315 Berlin Road
Unit #3
Georgetown, Delaware 19947
Phone:302-856-3990 FAX:302-856-4381

NRCS will help eligible producers develop an EQIP plan of operations, which will become the basis of the EQIP contract.

EQIP applications will be ranked based on a number of factors, including the environmental benefits and cost effectiveness of the proposal.


2020 Delaware Information/Forms (pdf unless otherwise noted) - Coming Soon

Conservation Activity Plans (CAP)

2020  EQIP Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) Information

EQIP Application

2020 EQIP Application - CCC 1200 (52 KB)

2020 Payment Schedules (NEW!)

2020 EQIP Eligible Practice List ( 1,102 KB)

2019 RCPP EQIP Payment Schedule 

2020 Other EQIP Forms and Documents

2020 EQIP Cover Crop Policy (55 KB)

2020 EQIP Irrigation History Certification Form (17 KB)

2020 EQIP Organic Initiative Self Certification Form (922 KB)

2020 Agreements for TSPs (17 KB)

2020 Control of Land Forms (24 KB)

2020 Delaware Screening Tool (71 KB)

2020 EQIP Fencing Information (15 KB)

2020 Form 4385 (328 KB)

2020 EQIP Irrigation Policy (17 KB)

2020 EQIP Eligibility Checklist (46 KB)

2020 EQIP Poultry Waste Structure Policy (81 KB)

2020 EQIP Wells Form Livestock (16 KB)

2020 EQIP Wells Form (18 KB)

2020 EQIP Hedgerow Windbreak Guide (19 KB)

2020 EQIP HUAP Policy (50 KB)

2020 EQIP Deadlines (51 KB)


2020 Delaware EQIP Ranking Tools  (pdf unless otherwise noted) - Coming Soon!

2020 EQIP Beef and Dairy Other HQ Kent/NCC (12 KB)

2020 EQIP Air Quality (9 KB)

2020  EQIP Beef and Dairy Other HQ Sussex (12 KB)

2020  EQIP Beef and Dairy Other with Land Kent/NCC (13 KB)

2020 EQIP Beef and Dairy Other with Land Sussex (13 KB)

2020 EQIP Beginning LRF Farmer (14 KB)

2020 EQIP Beginning LRF Farmer Energy (11 KB)


2020 EQIP Cover Crop Kent/NCC (1 KB)

2020 EQIP Cover Crop Sussex (11 KB)

2020 EQIP Cropland Kent/NCC (13 KB)

2020 EQIP Cropland Sussex (13 KB)

2020 EQIP Cropland Irrigation (13 KB)

2020 EQIP Cropland Pollinator (13 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP Drainage Water Management (8 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP Energy (11 KB)

2020 EQIP Energy Practices (11 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP Fish and Wildlife (8 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP Forest (8 KB)

2020 EQIP Forestry (11 KB)

2020 EQIP Freezer (11 KB)

2020 EQIP Rotary Drum (11 KB)

2020 EQIP SDF Energy (11 KB)

2020 EQIP SDF (14 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP Grazing (8 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP IPM (8 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP IPM_Herbicide (8 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP IWM (8 KB)

2020 EQIP Nutrient Management (8 KB)

2020 EQIP Organic Certified (12 KB)

2020 EQIP Organic Transition (12 KB)

2020 EQIP Pasture (13 KB)

2020 EQIP CAP Pollinator (8 KB)

2020 EQIP Poultry HQ Kent/NC (14 KB) 

2020 EQIP Poultry HQ Sussex (14 KB)

2020 EQIP Poultry with Land (14 KB) 

2020 EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel (11 KB)

2020 NWQI Ranking Tool (12 KB)

2020 EQIP Wildlife 5% (12 KB)

2020 EQIP WLFW (12 KB)



To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit

Detailed EQIP Information

To see more detailed program information about EQIP, visit the EQIP program homepage.

There are several National EQIP Initiatives available: Air Quality, On-Farm Energy, Organic and Seasonal High Tunnel.