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2014 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in Washington

2014 EQIP Programs Available for Washington Producers

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that provides assistance to landowners and 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 re-authorized through the 2008 Farm Bill.

With EQIP, NRCS provides funding and expertise for measures to protect natural resources while ensuring sustainable production on farms, ranches and working forest lands.

EQIP Program Application Cutoff Dates


Sign-Up Option


2014 Application Cutoff Dates

General EQIP

EQIP applications may be submitted at any time with your local USDA Service Center. For more information, see “Technical and Financial Assistance” below.


Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

A Program available to agricultural producers, designed to strengthen local and regional food markets and increase the use of sustainable conservation practices that will improve plant and soil quality, reduce nutrient and pesticide transport and reduce energy inputs.


Energy Initiative

Assist producers to conserve energy on their farms through an Agriculture Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit and provide assistance to implement various recommended measures identified in an energy audit.


Organic Initiative

Special EQIP funding is available to organic growers and those transitioning to organic production.


Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs)

A Conservation Activity Plan or CAP can be developed for producers to identify conservation practices needed to address a specific natural resource need.


National Water Quality Initiative

The National Water Quality Initiative will work in priority watersheds to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners improve water quality and aquatic habitats in impaired streams. NRCS will help producers implement conservation and management practices through a systems approach to control and trap nutrient and manure runoff.


National Air Quality Initiative

This initiative is designed to help producers meet air quality compliance requirements, as well as an opportunity to support practices which address impacts associated with particulate matter. In eligible counties, this initiative will provide eligible producers with program support to address serious air quality concerns from agricultural operations and help meet regulatory requirements. 


Pacific Salmon Habitat Improvement Partnership

The Pacific Salmon Habitat Improvement Partnership (PSHIP) is focused on the restoration of salmon habitat and improvements to water quality benefiting salmon in the Pacific Northwest.




State EQIP Initiatives

Sign-Up Option


Application Cutoff Dates

Wildfire Initiative

Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications from agricultural producers in Kittitas, Grant, Chelan, Okanagan and Douglas counties who were impacted by wildfires in 2014. Financial assistance is offered through the Wildfire Initiative of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help address resource concerns on private and tribal land.


Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI)

NRCS developed the Sage-grouse Initiative to help private landowners voluntarily conserve sage-grouse populations and habitat on their working lands.  In Washington, NRCS identified potential threats to sage-grouse and their habitat and determined specific conservation practices to reduce those threats.  Technical and financial assistance through EQIP is available for implementing the specific practices.


State Conservation Innovation Grant(s) (CIG)

CIG is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds are used to award competitive grants to eligible entities including Federal recognized Indian Tribes, state and local units of government and nongovernmental individuals and organizations.


How to Apply

The application process is a continuous process. 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 are applying for EQIP for the first time should schedule a meeting with NRCS to discuss their options 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 Washington.

For more information on how to apply, check out the Application Process FAQ.

Technical and Financial Assistance

Technical Assistance: Those who submit an application and are accepted into EQIP may receive technical assistance to plan conservation measures. Through EQIP, NRCS provides or covers the cost of professional technical services to develop conservation measures. This includes:

  • On-site assessments
  • Site-specific practice and management plans or Conservation Activity Plans (CAPs).
  • Engineering designs
  • Practice Payments: EQIP participants may also receive practice payments to offset the costs associated with the installation, cost of materials, and/or income lost with adoption of conservation measures. Practices that may be funded through EQIP are listed in the EQIP Practice
  • Payment List below.

These include measures such as:

  • Manure management practices,
  • Efficient irrigation upgrades,
  • Forest management practices (Applicants must have an acceptable forest management plan in place in order to receive EQIP funding for forestry practices. This may be an NRCS Forest Management Activity Plan or other forest management plan; contact the local NRCS for more information.)
  • Erosion control and buffers,
  • Range and pasture planting,
  • Fencing and stockwater,
  • and many other activities.

State Resource Assessment

Through the use of the State Technical Advisory Committee and Local Work Groups priority resource concerns and treatment areas have been identified. The 2009 and 2010 LWG process resulted in LWG resource assessments containing narratives and locally identified resource concerns.

This partnership has prepared a formal document describing the State Resource Assessment 2011: Priority Resource Concerns, Washington State, August 2011.

The State Resource Assessment is an integral document in setting resource concern priorities in every area in Washington State.


Application Ranking and Selection

Annually, NRCS establishes one or more cutoff dates for applications to be evaluated and ranked for current year funding.  Any applications received after the cutoff date will be held for evaluation in a future ranking period.

The application ranking criteria for Washington State was developed in consultation with the 10 Local Work Groups (LWG) and the Tribal Work Group (TWG), based on National, state and local priorities and priority resource concerns.  The same application ranking criteria is used to evaluate all Tribal applications in the state. All other applications are ranked using the application ranking criteria for the LWG covering that geographic area.

Applicants selected for funding are not authorized to begin the installation of a conservation practice until they have a NRCS-CPA-1202, Conservation Program Contract, signed by the NRCS Contracting Officer.

For more information view the FY14 Ranking Criteria - COMING SOON


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 Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, and Beginning Farmers & Ranchers: EQIP provides enhanced benefits to historically underserved program participants. Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, and Beginning Farmers & Ranchers 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 Small & Limited and Beginning Farmers & Ranchers.

Regular EQIP

Coming Soon

EQIP Organic Initiative

Coming Soon

EQIP High Tunnel Initiative

Coming Soon

EQIP Energy Initiative

Coming Soon

EQIP Sage Grouse Initiative

Coming Soon

EQIP Pacific Salmon Habitat Improvement Partnership

Coming Soon

EQIP Water Quality Initiative

Coming Soon

Funding Distribution

The distribution of EQIP financial assistance funds in Washington State will be accomplished by allocating funds to (10 Local Work Groups, 1 Tribal Work Group).  The allocation to each Work Group was determined by the conservation needs in each Local or Tribal Work Group, national and state priorities and the time required to address the Local Work Groups conservation needs as well as national and state priorities. 


Your local NRCS Field Office for assistance.

Alan Fulk,
NRCS Program Liaison
2145 Basin St. SW, Suite D
Ephrata, WA  98823-9451

(509) 754-3023  ext. 1123