The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides cost share and incentive payments to implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land. Agricultural producers may voluntarily apply to the program to help them improve environmental quality in concert with agricultural production on their farms.
Farmers can apply for cost-sharing for many types of manure storage and conservation practices.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. It supports production agriculture and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers may receive financial and technical help with structural and management conservation practices on agricultural land.
the following resource concerns have been identified as priorities for funding:
- Water Quantity, particularly where wildlife habitat may be impaired by irrigation water withdrawals
- Soil Erosion Control and Soil Quality
- Animal and Plant Quality associated with Threatened and Endangered Species, other wildlife habitat, and invasive species
- Air quality associated with chemical drift, particulates, ozone and odors.
These resource concerns are considered most critical in the following sensitive areas in RI:
- Watersheds of drinking water supplies, coastal salt ponds, and shellfish beds potentially threatened by agricultural activities, and water bodies listed on the RIDEM 303d list.
- Groundwater aquifers and their recharge areas classified as GAA.
- Critical fish and wildlife habitat potentially affected by irrigation withdrawals.
- Soils considered prime farmland and of statewide importance.
- Farms adjacent to public outdoor areas where air quality is a concern.
Ranking criteria based on the resource concerns identified above have been developed at the state level to evaluate applications for funding. Location factor points are granted if the project is located in a sensitive area and the farmer is willing to address one of the primary resource concerns. It is important to note that all eligible applications are accepted and ranked, regardless of farm location and planned conservation practices. Applications are funded based on the ranking outcome – the higher the points the more likely a plan will be funded.
For more information on the implementation of EQIP in Rhode Island read the 2005 Rhode Island Draft Policy
Any producer engaged in livestock or crop production on eligible land may apply for EQIP, but must meet eligibility requirements. Please see eligibility criteria for FY 2007 (below) for details on producer eligibility requirements. Additional paperwork beyond the application may be required to complete the determination. For more information (see below) the EQIP Application Requirements . NRCS also makes the land eligibility determination. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pasture land, private non-industrial forest land, and other farm or ranch lands as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture that has a resource concern that can be addressed with an approved conservation practice..
Farmers may apply to EQIP at any time of the year. However, applications received prior to the ranking deadlines each year will be eligible for current year funds. Once an application is received, you will be contacted by NRCS staff to complete an on-farm assessment and prepare a draft conservation plan, which is then used to complete the EQIP ranking. All applications are ranked at the same time. You will be notified following ranking as to whether or not your application has been approved for final conservation plan and contract development.
To apply for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), you will need to fill out the Conservation Program Contract Form CCC-1200 and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Contract Appendix To Form CCC-1200.
After submitting your application at your local USDA Service Center, a certified conservation planner will assist you in developing a plan to address the resource concerns on your farm. They will also work with you to complete a scoring worksheet for your application. Submitted applications are ranked, with the highest priority given to those applications in each region with the highest score.
Rhode Island Environmental Quality Incentives Program
60 Quaker Lane, Suite 46
RI STATE OFFICE/SERVICE CENTER
Warwick, RI 02886 Phone:
401-828-0433 Visit Website