Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection

Funding Program Name: Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Program Overview The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was established to provide a voluntary conservation program for agricultural producers to address significant natural resource needs and objectives. Through a competitive process, EQIP offers financial assistance contracts with a maximum term of ten years, to help implement eligible conservation practices. Persons or legal entities, who are owners of land under agricultural production or who are engaged in livestock or agricultural production on eligible land, including private non-industrial forest land, or Indian Tribes may participate in EQIP. Conservation practices implemented through EQIP are subject to NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions. NRCS or Technical Service Providers (TSPs) help applications develop a plan of operations which identifies practices needed to address natural resource concerns and support the EQIP contract. EQIP-related programs include Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG), Resource Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).
Application Deadline Applications may be submitted by eligible producers at any time during the year.
When Funds are Available Congress and the Administration appropriate funding each fiscal year to support EQIP. Throughout the fiscal year, NRCS will establish cut-off dates for application evaluation and ranking to determine which projects will be funded.
Average annual number of applicants 119,886
Typical percentage of applicants funded 34%
Is a matched amount required? Yes
Match Amount Typically, 50 to 75 percent of the cost of implementation of the practice is reimbursed through EQIP. The program participant is responsible for cost of implementation not covered by the EQIP payment.
Funding Level FY 2016 $1.02 billion (est.)
Funding Level FY 2015 $1.347 billion (financial and technical assistance)
Funding Level FY 2014 $1.35 billion (financial and technical assistance)
Funding Level FY 2013 $1.4 billion (financial and technical assistance)
Typical lowest amount awarded $54 (Financial Assistance Obligated in Fiscal Year 2014)
Typical highest amount awarded $450,000 (contract limit in the 2014 Farm Bill)
Typical median amount awarded $22,235 (Average Financial Assistance Obligated to contracts in Fiscal Years 2010-2014)
Other details on funding N/A
Primary Address U.S. Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
PO Box 2890
Washington, DC 20013-9770
Primary Telephone (202) 690-2621
Primary Email jeffrey.white@wdc.usda.gov
Primary Internet www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/eqip
Secondary Address Contact local or state NRCS office
Secondary Telephone -
Secondary Email -
Secondary Internet www.cfda.gov (Program Number 10.912)
Legislative Authority The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (16 USC 3839aa et seq.) is authorized by Chapter 4 of Subtitle D of Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79, February 7, 2014).
Associated Keywords Agriculture, Best Management Practices, Drinking Water, Fisheries, Floodplains/Riparian Zones, Forests, Ground Water, Land Acquisition, Monitoring, Nonpoint Source Control, Outreach/Education, Planning, Pollution Prevention, Restoration, Source Water Protection, Water Conservation, Watershed Management, Wetlands, Wildlife
Eligible Organizations Farmers, Indian Tribes, Private Landowner, Ranchers, State/Territorial Agency, Tribal Agency
Eligibility Constraints Additional information and detailed eligibility requirements are available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip