Hi Charlie: Yes, I applied through a special program between our irrigation district and the local NRCS office. I had a sprinkler irrigation system installed on my 18 acres. The paperwork is all the same, but the implementation, onsite inspections and contract management are different from one place to another...depends a lot on the local personnel. My contract was for ten years which was up last year and I went back to some limited flood irrigation for pasture restoration. You might want to meet a few other folks who are under an EQIP contract in your area to get a better idea. Here it was very easy and the bank loved giving me an equity loan for my portion of the match. The project immediately increased the equity here. Good luck!
I work for the NRCS in south-central Washington. I definitely would encourage you (and any Permies) to get in touch with your local office. The programs can be of great benefit to small farmers, and we would LOVE to work with more true stewards. As with all things Government, there is some hassle and paperwork. But if you stay on top of things and keep in good communication with your local office, it should be relatively painless.