NC Agriculture Cost Share Program

A major cause of water quality problems in the United States and in North Carolina is “non-point source” pollution. In many places across our state, damage to our water resources comes from soil erosion, excessive fertilizer use, animal waste contamination, and improper use of agricultural chemicals.

The North Carolina Cost Share Program was established in 1984 to help reduce the sources of agricultural non-point pollutions to North Carolina waters. This program helps landowners or renters of existing agricultural operations improve their on-farm management by using Best Management Practices, also called BMPs. These BMPs or management systems can make farmers more productive while reducing the potential for polluting surface and groundwater.

The great part about the Cost Share Program is that participants can be reimbursed up to 75% of a predetermined average cost for each BMP installed. 25% of the costs are the responsibility of the farmer. The farmer’s cost may include the use of labor and existing material.

Conservation Cover Practice to establish and maintain a conservation cover of grass, legumes, or other approved plantings on fields previously with no ground-cover of grass, legumes or other plantings on fields previously with no ground-cover established, to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality. Other benefits may include reduced offsite sedimentation and pollution from dissolved and sediment-attached substances. Eligible land includes that planted to Christmas Trees, orchards, ornamentals, vineyards and other cropland needing protective cover.

Long-Term No-Till Practice to plant all crops for five consecutive years with at least eighty percent (80%) of the at-plant soil surface covered by plant residue from preceding crops to improve water quality. Benefits may include reduced soil erosion, sedimentation and nutrient reductions from farm fields.

Other Ag Cost Share Programs
• No-till cropping systems
• Critical area planting
• Fencing livestock out of streams
• Stream crossings
• Stock trails & heavy use protection areas
• Facilities to handle agricultural chemicals
• Nutrient management
• Water control structures
• Terraces and diversions
• Strip cropping
• Sod-based rotation
• Sediment control structures
• Field borders, filter strips and buffers along streams
• Grade-control structures
• Grassed waterways

Click HERE for more information and forms for Agricultural Cost Share Programs

The new program year begins on July 1st. Applications are taken throughout the year.
For more information contact Richmond SWCD