Agency announces EQIP program batching date

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Farm Forum

HURON, S.D. — U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have announced Dec. 11 as the batching date for applications for the popular Environmental Quality Incentives Program administered by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“Now is the time to contact NRCS to begin developing conservation solutions on your farm or ranch. Local and regional technical specialists with the NRCS can help you develop a plan to address resource concerns. “Those with good conservation plans will be in a better position to apply for financial assistance since they have a solid conservation goals for their operation,” according to Jennifer Wurtz, EQIP program coordinator with the NRCS in Huron.

Applications are batched annually for funding consideration. This year, Dec. 11 is the date by which an operator or landowner must sign an application at their local NRCS office for Fiscal Year 2021 funding consideration, says Wurtz. This batching date is for general funding opportunities as well as initiative funding such as Soil Health Initiative, Wildlife, Honey Bee Pollinator, Sage Grouse Initiative, Grassland Birds, Animal Waste Management, National Water Quality Initiative, High Tunnel Systems, Organic, and On-Farm Energy to name a few.

The EQIP Program provides financial and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers voluntary implement conservation practices to improve natural resources on working agricultural lands. Payment is provided for a variety of practices to address natural resource concerns such as water quality, grazing land health and productivity, soil erosion and soil quality, and wildlife habitat development.

Applications for all NRCS conservation programs are accepted continuously; however, the application batching date, or call for ranking, is annual. Wurtz says. “The batching deadline for this popular conservation program comes around quickly and the ranking process can be competitive.” Operators or landowners should apply early, not wait, to visit NRCS in their local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center.

For information about technical assistance and conservation programs, visit For more information about the EQIP or to apply, please contact your local NRCS office or visit

Specialists with the USDA NRCS are working and available by phone or e-mail while taking safety measures in response to COVID-19. To apply, please contact your local NRCS office Farmers and ranchers can now start making in-person appointments at several USDA Service Centers across the country as part of USDA’s phased reopening process. Other USDA service centers remain open for business by phone appointment only.