Chatham Farmers Invited to Apply for Conservation Cost Share Grants

— Written By
Charolais cattle

Charolais cattle. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Contact:  Chatham Soil & Water Conservation District, 919-542-8228

PITTSBORO, NC— The Chatham Soil and Water Conservation District is currently taking applications from agricultural operations for both the Agricultural Cost Share Program and the Agriculture Water Resources Assistance Program.

The Agricultural Cost Share Program helps agricultural operations install best management practices (BMPs) that address sediment or nutrient losses, animal waste management, agrichemical pollution prevention or stream protection.

Examples of BMPs include livestock exclusion systems to fence livestock from surface waters, manure drystacks and composters for nutrient management, as well as long-term no till, cover crops, waterways and terraces for sediment and erosion management on cropland.

The Soil and Water Conservation District is also accepting applications for the Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program, which assists farm operations with insufficient water sources for irrigation for cropland, nurseries or livestock. Eligible projects include new pond construction, pond dam repair or retrofit, pond sediment removal, streamside pick-up, conservation irrigation conversion, micro-irrigation, and water supply wells.

The district has limited funding available. All applications will be ranked within the county and possibly within the region. Funding will be awarded to the highest priority needs.

Cost share awards may amount to 75 percent of the total installation costs, with the applicant required to cover the difference. Funds are provided by NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation through the NC Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services.

Eligible applicants for these programs must operate a bona fide farm, as described by NC GS153A-340(b)(2), and have been in production for three or more years. Please call the office at 919-542-8240 to speak with a specialist regarding eligibility and to set up a farm visit to discuss best management practices and conservation planning.

Questions? Contact the Chatham County Soil and Water Conservation District at 919-542-8228.

If you are not in Chatham County, contact your local Soil & Water Conservation office.