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Environmental Quality Incentives Program

2014 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) | Utah NRCS


November 15, 2013 - Deadline for applicants to submit an application for the application period

March 21, 2014 - Deadline announcement for batching initiatives for

  • 2014 Energy Initiative
  • 2014 Organic Initiative
  • 2014 Sage Grouse Initiative
  • 2014 Season High Tunnel
  • 2014 Water Quality Initiative

FY2014 Utah Initiatives Bulletin 

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About the Environmental Quality Incentives Program

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) to provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Additional information about this environmental improvement program can be found on the NRCS National Website. For application assistance and sign up deadlines please contact your local NRCS office.

How EQIP Works in Utah

Utah State NRCS supports the locally led conservation effort in the delivery of conservation programs. The USDA local work group (LWG) serves as the starting point for the development and coordination of USDA programs to provide an integrated approach for addressing local natural resource concerns.

The LWG ensures that a conservation needs assessment is developed using community stakeholders input. Utilizing the assessment process, the LWG identifies resource concerns, recommends practices, priorities, payment rates, cost-share levels and funding needs. The group assists in multi-county coordination when resource concerns will be addressed across county boundaries.

The LWG information is solicited by the District Conservationists each year. Following the submittals of LWG proposals, the Soil Conservation Districts convene LWG meetings to review requests and make recommendations on ranking criteria, eligible practices and funding. These recommendations are given to the DC. The DC reviews these with the State Conservationist.

The State Conservationist conducts State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) Meeting and Tribal STAC meetings to gather input from all agriculture groups, federal, state and local agencies. Recommendations on what are Utah’s resource concerns and methods to treat them are submitted to the State Conservationist. The State Conservationist appoints subcommittees to provide specific solutions to specific resource concerns.

EQIP Signup Opportunities in Utah (Click here for the Fund Pools Page)

Those who are interested in EQIP should work with the local NRCS office to identify and plan the conservation measures you want on your land. Those who have previously developed a conservation plan with NRCS will already have the conservation planning step completed. Those who consider applying for EQIP for the first time should schedule a meeting with NRCS to discuss their options and develop a conservation plan before moving forward.

Local NRCS conservationists will help you develop a conservation plan, identify conservation measures and pursue funding through one of the EQIP signup options available in Utah.

2014 Regular EQIP (Click here for the Fund Pools Page)

EQIP applications may be submitted at any time with your local USDA Service Center.

2014 Conservation Activity Plan (CAP)

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) and subsequent congressional actions authorize NRCS to provide financial assistance through EQIP to support development of CAP's.

The documents below require Adobe Reader.

Utah offering CAP Table : Click Here (PDF, 50 kb)
Utah CAP Payment Schedule: Click Here (PDF, 96 kb)
Utah CAP Bulletin: Click Here (PDF, 728 kb)

2014 Seasonal High Tunnels (Click here for Ranking & Screening)

Natural resource benefits from using tunnel structures may include: improved plant quality, improved soil quality, and improved water quality through methods such as reduced nutrient and pesticide transport. Eligible agricultural producers may apply for EQIP financial assistance for high tunnels, but only for manufactured tunnels covering up to 2,178 square feet (approximately 30 ft x 72 ft) per farming operation. The high tunnel will have an expected practice life of 4 years.

EQIP High Tunnel Payment Schedule - Coming Soon

2014 Sage Grouse Initiative (Click here for Ranking & Screening)

Utah landowners within several western slope counties are encouraged to visit with their local NRCS field office and inquire about developing a conservation plan that when implemented will help reduce the threats to the Sage Grouse. NRCS will utilize its Environmental Quality Incentive’s Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentive’s Program (WHIP) to implement the initiative and although a conservation plan isn’t required for enrollment, all applications which include an NRCS approved conservation plan, will receive priority status for enrollment consideration.

Visit the Utah FY14 Sage Grouse Initiative link for additional information.

2014 Organic Initiative (Click here for Ranking & Screening)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Utah has funding available to assist organic farming operations and individuals transitioning to organic farming.

The 2008 Farm Bill highlights the availability of financial and technical assistance to help producers of all commodities meet their conservation goals, including producers transitioning to organic farming and currently certified organic producers. The assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the EQIP program helps producers plan and implement conservation practices to allow their organic operations to be environmentally sustainable. EQIP is primarily used to provide financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices to address soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources. A new organic provision targets organic producers and producers transitioning to organic production:

  • Assistance is for conservation practices related to organic production
  • Assistance is limited to $20,000 per year and $80,000 during a six year period
  • Producers are required to develop and carry out an Organic System Plan (OSP) or carry out practices consistent with an OSP
  • Producers must be pursing an organic certification or in compliance with their organic certification

Visit this link: FY14 Organic Initiative for additional information.

2014 Energy Initiative (Click here for Ranking & Screening)

Conservation funding for energy-related conservation activities is available to producers in Utah. Financial and technical assistance is available through the On-Farm Energy Audit/Implementation Initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Visit this link: FY14 Energy Initiative for additional information.

2014 Water Quality Initiative (Click here for Ranking & Screening)

A program under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through which NRCS will assist producers to improve water quality on their farm or ranch in a priority watersheds.

Visit this link: FY14 Water Quality Initiative for additional information.

2014 Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) is a small Neotropical migratory bird that breeds in the arid southwestern United States. It has been federally listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Visit the Utah FY14 Southwestern Willow Flycatcher link for additional information.

Colorado River Basin Salinity Control

Provides financial assistance for on-farm salinity control to reduce salinity concentrations in the Colorado River. Agricultural producers with land located in approved salinity control areas should apply. 

Visit the Colorardo River Basin Salinity Control site for more information.

EQIP Funding Selection and Priorities

Priorities for EQIP funding are established with input from Utah’s strong conservation partnership 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.

Some funds are distributed via “state fund pools” to address animal waste, air quality, wildlife issues, etc. Funds are also distributed to counties, to address resource concerns on Pasture and Rangeland, Dry Cropland/Hayland, Irrigated Cropland/Hayland, Riparian areas, and non-industrial private forestland.

Click here for the 2014 Ranking Priorities (Coming Soon)

EQIP Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in EQIP, an applicant must be an individual, entity or joint operation that meets the following criteria:

  1. The applicant is an agricultural producer that is engaged in livestock or agricultural production, OR the applicant is a private, non-industrial forest landowner.
  2. The applicant has an interest in the operation associated with the land being offered for enrollment in EQIP.
  3. The applicant has control of the land for the term of the proposed contract. Click here for more information on requirements for land control. (PDF, 84 kb)
  4. The applicant is in compliance with the provisions for protecting the interests of tenants and sharecroppers, including the provisions for sharing EQIP payments on a fair and equitable basis.
  5. The applicant is in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation compliance provisions.
  6. The applicant is within appropriate payment limitation requirements.
  7. The applicant is in compliance with AGI requirements.

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

If your business or organization plans to apply for conservation program or grant funding through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, or another federal agency, you may need to request an identification number through the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS).

Obtaining a DUNS number is free for all entities doing business with the federal government. This includes grant and cooperative agreement applicants and prospective applicants and federal contractors. The process to request a DUNS number takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

Telephone Instructions: Contact D&B through their toll-free phone number at: 1-866-705-5711.
On the web:

The following document requires Adobe Acrobat.

DUNS & SAM Fact Sheet (PDF, 393kb)

System for Award Management (SAM)

The System for Award Management is the Official U.S. Government system that consolidated the capabilities of CCR/FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS. There is NO fee to register for this site. Entities may register at no cost directly from the SAM website.

Telephone Instructions: Contact SAM through their customer service line at: 1-866-606-8220.

The following document requires Adobe Acrobat.

DUNS & SAM Fact Sheet (PDF, 393kb)

2014 EQIP Practice Payment Lists

The following are lists of practices and associated payment rates for each of the EQIP sign-up options.

Program Benefits for Historically Underserved Clients: EQIP provides enhanced benefits to historically underserved program participants. Historically underserved refers to groups that have not participated in or that in the past have received limited benefits through USDA programs. Click here for more information about historically underserved clients.

The documents below require Adobe Reader.

Local Statewide Payment Schedules (PDF, 364kb) Local Statewide HU Payment Schedules (PDF, 366kb)
Salinity & Initiatives Payment Schedules (PDF, 401kb) Salinity & Initiatives HU Payment Schedules (PDF, 366kb)

For More Information

NRCS National EQIP Website


James Huggard, Farm Bill Specialist
Phone: (435) 637-0041 Ext. 106

Pedro Ramos, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: 801-524-4552

Archived EQIP Information