Massachusetts Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Program Description

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality by offering financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install or implement structural and management practices on agricultural land.

Program Objectives: 

  •  Reduce non-point pollution in impaired waters and drinking water recharge areas
  • Conserve ground and surface water resources 
  • Reduce greenhouse gases and objectionable odors 
  • Reduce soil erosion and sedimentation 
  • Promote wildlife habitat conservation for at-risk species 
  • Promote plant and animal productivity, health and vigor.

Conservation Practices
There are many conservation practices approved for this year’s cost share program. The following list summarizes the possibilities for crop management, erosion and water control, reorganization of irrigation systems and wildlife habitat management:

Crop Management:
Agrichemical Mixing Facility, Contour Farming, Cover Crop, Deep Tillage, Diversion, Forage Harvest Management, Nutrient Management, Pest management, No-Till/Strip-Till, and Transition to Organic Production.
Erosion Control:
Critical Area Planting, Field Border, Filter Strip, Grade Stabilization Structure, Grassed Waterway, Lined Waterway or Outlet, Streambank and Shoreline Protection, Stripcropping, Terrace, Water and Sediment Control Basin.
Irrigation System Reorganization:
Irrigation Water Conveyance, Microirrigation System, Sprinkler Irrigation System, Tailwater Recovery System, Irrigation Water Management, Pumping Plant and Structure for Water
Control. Specific to Cranberries:
Dike, Land Smoothing, Open Channel, Pond Sealing/Lining. Livestock Management: Anaerobic digester, Composting Facility, Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, Constructed Wetland, Fence, Heavy Use Area, Manure Transfer, Roof Runoff Structure, Sediment Basin, Waste Storage Facility, Waste Utilization, Waste Water Treatment Strip, Windbreak/Shelterbelt. Specific to Grazing Systems: Animal Tails/Walkways, Brush Management, Fence, Pasture/Hayland Planting, Pipeline, Pond, Prescribed Grazing, Spring Development, Stream Crossing, Water Well, Watering Facility.
Wildlife Habitat:
Early Successional Habitat Development/Management, Field Border, Riparian forest Buffer, Riparian Herbaceous Buffer, Upland and Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management.


Producer Eligibility: To be eligible to participate in EQIP, an individual, entity or joint operation must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an agricultural producer (produced and sold >$1,000 ag-products in 2 of last 5 years);
  • Have an interest in the farming operation associated with the land being enrolled;
  • Have control of the land for the term of the proposed contract;
  • Be in compliance with federal highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions;
  • Be within program payment limitations (< $450,000 EQIP payments); and
  • Be within Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) requirements (make < $2.5 million).

Land Eligibility:
Land eligible for enrollment in EQIP must be used for agricultural commodities or livestock production. The program is primarily for privately owned land, but public land is eligible if the land is under private control and the participant has written authorization from the landowner to apply the conservation practices. Land in other conservation programs is eligible if the contract does not pay for the same practices on the same land and the practices do not defeat the purpose of either program. Irrigated land must have been irrigated for two of the last five years prior to application to be eligible for irrigation practices.

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 Massachusetts Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Richard DeVergilio
State Resource Conservationist
451 West Street
Amherst, Massachusetts  01002
Phone: (413) 253-4379
Fax: 413-253-4375


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator
Related Success Stories for Massachusetts Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Cheney Lake Water Quality Project
Farmers, the City of Wichita, and NRCS and EPA partnered to fund and implement conservation practices to clean and protect the city’s water supply at Cheney Lake.

District,NRCS target irrigation water quality
NRCS and Central Platte Natural Resources District use EQIP and district cost share funds to target cost-share funds at priority water quality irrigation farmers.

Iowa Buffer Team
A unique group of public and private partners joined forces to promote the establishment of buffers on agricultural lands.

Missouri SWCD/NRCS Partnership
Missouri NRCS' partnership with local soil and water conservation districts is tops in reducing soil erosion and protecting water quality.

Peach Resource Renewal Project
Conservation Innovation Grants are part of the 2002 Farm Bill and were established as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Salt Cedar Brush Management
Texas Landowners with federal cost-share funds are eradicating Salt Cedar in sections of the Canadian River to increase flow and benefit listed fish species.

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.