Kentucky Environmental Quality Incentive Program

Program Description

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers and ranchers receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working agricultural land. EQIP is re-authorized through the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill).

EQIP offers contracts with a minimum term that ends one year after the implementation of the last scheduled practice and a maximum term of 10 years. EQIP activities are carried out according to a conservation plan of operations developed with the program participants. Conservation practices are subject to Kentucky NRCS standards and specifications. Participants may elect to use a certified Technical Service Provider for technical assistance, if available.

Historically underserved farmer/rancher (beginning farmer/rancher, limited resource farmer/rancher, and socially disadvantaged farmer/rancher) are eligible for a higher payment rate. Although historically underserved applicants will use the same ranking criteria as other applicants in their pooling/ranking area, per the 2008 Farm Bill, there will be a special funding allotment for these customers. Certification that participants meet this requirement is made on the application form.
Kentucky NRCS originally identified $774,000 in EQIP financial assistance to assist growers and producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic certification.  A second sign-up period has been announced nationally and will run through May 20, 2011. Sign-up for the program is on a continuous basis however, applications received after May 20, 2011 will be held until the next announced sign up period. Technical and financial assistance is available to help you identify natural resource concerns and implement conservation practices to address those concerns in your organic farming operation.  Contact your local NRCS Service Center soon to determine what would work best for you and your land.

EQIP can provide financial and technical assistance to plan and design such measures as, but not limited to, the following. Please see Kentucky 2011 EQIP Policy and Procedures (DOC; 118 KB) for a list of eligible practices and the conditions under which they are eligible.

  • Grazing management: fencing and livestock watering systems
  • Nutrient management: manure storage structures, planned nutrient applications
  • Erosion control: grade control structures, diversions, grassed waterways
  • Wildlife habitat enhancement: stream buffers, upland wildlife habitat management

These and the many other measures included in EQIP can help producers accomplish a variety of operational goals, which may include:

  • Improvements to the long-term productivity and sustainability of an agricultural operation
  • Improved condition of crops and forage for livestock
  • Reduced costs for fuel, labor, fertilizers and pesticides
  • Energy efficient systems and field operations


Any producer engaged in livestock or crop production on eligible land may apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pasture land, private non-industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.


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 Kentucky Environmental Quality Incentive Program

Marcia Kelly
Acting Assistant State Conservationist
771 Corporate Drive, Suite 210
Lexington, Kentucky  40503
Phone: 859-224-7444
Fax: 859-224-7399


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

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Related Success Stories for Kentucky Environmental Quality Incentive Program

Suwannee River Partnership
The Partnership is working with producers to improve river water quality through a voluntary program of Best Management Practices (BMP) and verification.