Applicant and Land Eligibility for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
To be eligible to participate in EQIP, an applicant must meet all of the
following criteria -
- Be a producer. To be considered a producer, the applicant must be:
- A person, legal entity, Indian Tribe, or joint operation with
signature authority; and
- Engaged in agricultural production or forestry management or have an
interest in the agricultural or forestry operation associated with the land
being offered for enrollment in EQIP.
- Interest in the farming operation means one of the following:
- Owner or renter of the land in the farming operation;
- An interest in the agricultural products, commodities, or
livestock produced by the farming operation; or
- A member of a joint operation that either owns or rents land in
the farming operation or has an interest in the agricultural products,
commodities, or livestock produced by the farming operation.
- Have control of the land for the term of the proposed contract
- Be 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.
- Be in compliance with the highly erodible land and wetland
- Be within appropriate payment limitation requirements, as specified
in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.
Exception: Federally-recognized Indian Tribes are exempt from payment
limitation requirements. The $300,000 contract limitation remains applicable to
Indian Tribes, but there is no limit on payments so an Indian Tribe could have
multiple $300,000 contracts. Individual tribal members must be within
appropriate payment limitations.
- Be in compliance with adjusted gross income requirements.
Exception: Federally-recognized Indian Tribes are exempt from adjusted gross
To be eligible for EQIP, the land being offered for application into the
program must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be agricultural land, non industrial private forest land, or other land on which agricultural products, livestock, or
forest-related products are produced.
- Agricultural products include but are not limited to the following:
Grains or row crops; Tobacco; Seed crops;
Vegetables or fruits; Hay, forage, or pasture; Orchards or vineyards; Flowers or
bulbs; Ornamentals; Plant materials, including those grown in greenhouses or
seasonal high tunnels; Trees; Other agricultural commodities; Other crops used
- Livestock production is defined
as farm or ranch operations involving the production, growing, raising, or
reproducing of livestock or livestock products, including but not limited to,
Alpacas; Beef cattle; Bison; Dairy cattle; Fish
or other animals raise through aqua-cultural methods; Horses; Llamas; Ratites;
Poultry; Sheep or goats; Swine; Turkeys; All other livestock or fowl produced as
part of agricultural operations on farms or ranches identified by the State
Conservationist, considering the advice of the State Technical Committee.
- Non industrial private forest land
is rural land that -
- Has existing tree cover or is suitable for growing trees.
- Is owned by any non industrial private individual, group, association,
corporation, Indian Tribe, or other private legal entity.
- Permanently submerged lands may be
eligible only if all of the following apply:
- The EQIP practices to be implemented are land-based.
- The Farm Service Agency establishes farm records, common land unit (CLU
information, and completes HEL/WC determinations for the submerged land area.
- The proposed EQIP practice(s) addresses an identified natural resource
Note: By statute and regulation (16 U.S.C. 3839aa-1; and §1466.8), EQIP may
only be used to implement practices or support activities on eligible land. As
such, areas of water in which no land-based conservation practice(s) will be
implemented are not eligible.
- Be privately owned or Indian land. Publicly owned land may be eligible if
- The land is a working component
of the participant’s agricultural and operations.
- The participant has control of
the land for the term of the contract.
- The conservation practices to be
implemented on the public land are necessary and will contribute to an
improvement in the identified resource concern.
- Have permission of the landowner to install a structural practice on
land not owned by the applicant.
- Have an identified resource concern that may be addressed.
- Have irrigated two out of the last five years to install a water
conservation or irrigation related practice.
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