South Carolina Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Program Description

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.

In South Carolina, EQIPwill pay 50 percent of the costs of eligible conservation practices under the general sign-up. Small scale farmers are eligible for 75 percent cost share. Limited Resource and Beginning Farmers are eligible for 90 percent cost share.  Incentive payments may be made to encourage a farmer to adopt land management practices, such as nutrient management, manure management, integrated pest management, and wildlife habitat management.  Incentive payments are capped at $40,000 per operation.  There can be no incentive only contracts.

Organic Initiative and High Tunnel Study
The 2008 Farm Bill provides specific opportunities for organic producers and those transitioning to organic farming. South Carolina farmers who are transitioning to organic or who are currently certified organic can apply to receive assistance under the Organic Initiative through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Funding is also available through EQIP for a High Tunnel Pilot Study which will enable producers to experiment with structures (also called “hoop houses”) that can help them reduce pesticide use, keep vital nutrients in the soil, extend the growing season, increase yields, and provide other benefits to growers. A number of "core" organic conservation practices may be funded through the EQIP Organic Initiative, including cover crops, conservation crop rotation, prescribed grazing, pest management, nutrient management, and forage harvest management.

More Information about the Organic Initiative in South Carolina

Learn about how EQIP Works in South Carolina


Any farmer engaged in livestock or crop production on eligible land may apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland; rangeland; pasture; private non-industrial forestland; and other farm or ranch lands, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. The Farm Service Agency or the Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Local Working Group Determine eligible producers for the EQIP program.

Counties will receive EQIP allocations based on the dollar amount of applications received and the extent at which they are addressing their local resource concerns and how those concerns reflect State and National resource concerns.

EQIP costshare is limited to $450,000 per person or entity, as well as a $50,000 for incentive payments for the entire Farm Bill. Costshare payment on irrigation practices are limited to $25,000 per contract and Stacking Sheds with a roof are limited to 50 percent costshare rate.

Sign Up

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.

Contact South Carolina Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Contact South Carolina Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Shaun Worley
Program Specialist
1835 Assembly Street, Room 950
Columbia, South Carolina  29201
Phone: 803-253-3512
Fax: 803-253-3670


Service Area

National Program