The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality. EQIP offers financial and technical help to help eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land.
Program practices and activities are carried out according to an EQIP program plan of operations developed in conjunction with the producer. The practices are subject to NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions.
EQIP provides payments up to 75 percent of the incurred costs and income foregone of certain conservation practices and activities. However certain historically underserved producers (Limited resource farmers/ranchers, beginning farmers/ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers) may be eligible for payments up to 90 percent of the estimated incurred costs and income foregone.
WHIP might be useful if wildlife conservation is first priority, livestock secondary priority. The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for conservation-minded landowners who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat on agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, and Native American land. The Natural Resources Conservation Service administers WHIP to provide both technical assistance and up to 75 percent cost-share assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat. WHIP cost-share agreements between NRCS and the participant generally last from one year after the last conservation practice is implemented but not more than 10 years from the date the agreement is signed.
You will need a grazing management strategy in order to qualify for federal cost-share programs.
Planning & Technical Assistance
The NRCS may also provide technical assistance such as: resource inventory and analysis, management alternatives, engineering practice design, and management recommendations. Contact your local NRCS office for information, or contact your state NRCS office.