Soil and Water

 Conservation Programs and Services Available

 
COST SHARING FOR CONSERVATION:
Various cost-sharing programs are available for the citizens of Davidson County to assist land users with the installation of conservation measures.  
 
Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP)  The objectives of the Community Conservation Asistance Program are to reduce suburban and urban non-point source pollution, increase technical assistance to land users, provide cost sharing to landowners who implement best management practices (BMPs) and to provide BMPs to improve water quality with secondary water quantity benefits to improve the overall health of the environment. Provides cost share and technical assistance for the installation of stormwater best management practices on non-agricultural land.

Agricultural Water Resource Assistance Program (AgWRAP)  Financial assistance is available for construction and repair of farm ponds, conservation irrigation systems and wells used for irrigation supply.  The Agricultural Water Resource Assistance Program can provide up to 75% cost share assistance to increase water use efficiency, water storage, and availablilty on agricultural land.  Only existing agricultural operations that are currently watering livestock from ponds, or irrigating and need additional water storage, or desire to convert to a more efficient irrigation system are eligible. 

Cost-Sharing Available to Close Abandoned Wells  Davidson SWCD has cost share monies to assist with filling in and capping off abandoned wells.  This measure is to prevent the entry of contaminated surface water into the well and eliminate the hazards of an open hole.  Cost sharing is limited to 75% of the actual cost with a maximum payment of $1500 per well.  The well closure must be completed by a certified well contractor, must meet all requirements of the Davidson County Health Department and the State of North Carolina, and must be approved by the Davidson County Health Department.
         
Conservation Reserve Program General (CRP)   A competitive program to take highly erodible cropland out of crop production and into permanent cover for a ten year period.  An annual payment is made to the landowner for the ten year period.  Also a 50% cost-share is available to establish permanent cover for successful applicants.
         
Conservation Reserve Programs Continuous (CRP)   A non-competitive program to establishes buffers along streams and water bodies to improve water quality in a pasture or cropland situation. This program provides annual payments for ten to fifteen years, depending on the contract period selected by the applicant, plus performance bonuses, and cost-share for establishment. This is a very good program in the right situation.  Pays 50% of pre-determined average cost to install buffers, additional practice installation incentive, sign-up bonus, and an annual rental payment.
         
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)   Federally funded program to install practices on agricultural land to improve water quality, prevent erosion, and improve the natural resource base.  Technical assistance is provided to install erosion control practices on cropland, animal operations (mortality, waste storage, fencing, watering facilities, etc.) and other practices as needed to meet the identified resource needs of a field.  This program can help provide assistance with a wide range of practices on pasture, crop, or forest land.  This is a competitive program with 75% cost-share available.  One practice that USDA has high hopes for are high tunnels or commonly known as hoop houses.  This practice expands the USDS's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative to North Carolina.  This initiative will provide opportunities for farmers to establish seasonal high tunnel systems for crops to increase the availability of locally grown produce in a conservation friendly way. 

Conservation Security Program   A national incentive payment program for maintaining and increasing farm and ranch stewardship practices on cropland, pastureland, and incidental forestland.  Three tiers reflect the amount of stewardship activity that is being carried out on the land.  Increased conservation practice implementation increases amount of payment.  The control of the land remains with the original landowner. 

 Forestry Land Enhancement Program   A Federally funded program to provide cost-share to plant trees, and do other needed forestry management.  This is administered by the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources.
         
 Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)   Program purchases land development rights to keep grasslands in production.  Pays 100% land value for permanent easement; 30% for 30 year easement, or rental payments.
           
North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program (NCACSP)   Provides cost share and incentive payments for conservation measures that improve water quality. Pays 75% of predetermined average cost of approved conservation measures. Applications are ranked based on District priorities.
         
 Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)    Program to restore and protect wetlands. Pays up to 100% of restoration cost + 100% of appraised land value for permanent easement.  Rates for 30 year and 10 year easements are lower.
   
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)   A Federally funded competitive program to provide 75% cost-share to enhance and or improve wildlife habitat.  The program's priority is to improve and create habitat for quail, rabbits, and other small game, but can be used for other species.  It can provide asisstance with the management of woodlands, establish perennial wildlife plantings for food and cover, manage existing wildlife areas, and other practices as needed.  Only available in targeted areas and pays 75% of predetermined average cost.