2008 Farm Bill Programs
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)
Purpose of Program
- The Environmental Quality Incentive Program is a voluntary program for farmers and ranchers who face serious threats to soil, water, and related natural resources.
- EQIP promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals
- EQIP includes an organic production planning and transition program with payments limited to $20,000 per year or $80,000 over 6 years.
- EQIP provides additional funding to promote ground and surface water conservation.
- Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private, non-industrial forestland and other lands as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.
- Confined livestock feeding operations implementing comprehensive nutrient management plans are eligible for EQIP funds.
- Ineligible land includes land under CRP contract.
Contract Period and Cost-Share
- Contract Period is for a minimum of 1 year after implementation of last scheduled practice to a maximum of 10 years.
- Except in limited circumstances, Cost Share cannot exceed $300,000 per individual over the life of the 2008 Farm Bill, regardless of the number of farms or contracts. No individual or entity may receive EQIP payments in any year in which their adjusted gross income for the preceding 3 years exceeds $1 million unless 66% of that is from farming, ranching or forestry interests.
- Payments - NRCS will pay up to 75% of the cost of installing the practice. Payments include planning and income recovery costs and up to 3 years of incentive payments.
- Limited resource and beginning farmers may be eligible for up to 90% cost share of installing eligible conservation practices.
- EQIP is run by NRCS.
- Applications can be filed year round at local NRCS/FSA/USDA Service Centers and Conservation District Offices.
- Applications are ranked once each year (usually midsummer) with available money going to the top ranked applicants who maximize environmental benefits.
Common EQIP Practices
- Conservation Tillage
- Range Seeding
- Grassed Waterways, Filter Strips and Forest Buffers
- Irrigation system conversions
- Brush Control
- Fencing and livestock watering facilities
- Prescribed grazing and burning
For more information contact:
Chuck Kowaleski, Farm Bill Coordinator
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Phone: (254) 718-7684
- Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) - Contact information from the US Dept. of Agriculture Service Center Locator for Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rural Development agencies.
- Texas State Water and Soil Conservation Board - Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts Locator Map and information.
- Farm Service Agency - FSA website for Texas Farm Service Agency Directory.