Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Incentives Program

EQIP is a voluntary USDA-NRCS conservation program for producers to treat soil, water and related natural resource concerns.  It provides technical and financial assistance to promote environmental quality in agricultural production.

NRCS in Pennsylvania identified the following natural resource concerns:

  • Erosion and sedimentation
  • Nutrient management
  • Water pollution from livestock farming
  • Wildlife habitat degradation
  • Odor problems from animal waste

Eligibility

Only agricultural producers, individuals or entities engaged in livestock or agricultural production may participate in EQIP.  To be eligible, producers need to comply, among other things, with the Highly Erodible Land/Wetland conservation provisions.  For HEL, erosion must be reduced to minimum acceptable levels by the first year of the contract.  Participants also must comply with Adjusted Gross Income provisions (AGI cannot exceed $2.5 million, with some exceptions if major portions of income are from agricultural sources).

Application and Evaluation Process

To sign-up just fill out the Conservation Program Contract Form CCC-1200

Applications will be evaluated using a ranking system based on state resource needs and the extent to which producers are willing to make improvements.  There is an extensive list of conservation practices to choose from and two levels of treatment (basic and enhanced).  Contracts will be awarded to producers with the highest rankings until funds are exhausted.  Funds are available for the following land uses:  livestock/poultry production, with a subcategory of grazing, and cropland.  A special effort will be conducted to promote grazing systems as natural resource and energy conserving systems.  Funds will be allocated to each of these land uses, so producers interested in protecting cropland will not be competing against producers wanting to correct livestock-related problems.

NRCS field offices in Pennsylvania are organized by teams, comprised of one to six counties.  EQIP funds will be allocated at the team level.  NRCS Designated Conservationists have been working with the local workgroups to gather recommendations to adjust the program to local conservation needs.  According to these needs and based on national and state guidelines, teams can adjust cost-sharing, contract funding, cost-shared practices, etc. to make the program work more effectively in their area.  Rates of 75% cost-share can be achieved if a Resource Management System (RMS) with a practice to benefit at-risk species is planned.  Limited Resource Farmers and Beginning Farmers can get up to 90% for a portion of their contract.


Contact Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Incentives Program


Contact Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Noel Soto
One Credit Union Place, Suite 340
Pennsylvania State Office
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania  17110
Phone: 717-237-2173
Fax: 717-237-2238


 

Service Area

National Program