The major cause of water quality problems in North Carolina and in much of the United States is nonpoint source pollution. In many places, damage to our water resources comes from soil erosion, excessive fertilizer use, animal waste contamination, and improper use of agricultural chemicals. The North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program helps address nonpoint pollution by providing technical and financial resources.
If you are a landowner or renter of an existing agricultural operation that has been operating for more than three years, you are eligible to participate in the North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program.
The North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program is successful because of the grassroots efforts of your local soil and water conservation district. Your district works with agricultural landowners and renters to:
The division provides administrative and technical assistance to districts. The division gives final approval to cost share contracts and processes requests for payments to farmers participating in the program.
Submit an application to your local soil and water conservation district. The applications are ranked based on resource concerns identified in the county. Applicants can be reimbursed up to 75 percent of a predetermined average cost for each BMP installed. The applicant is responsible for 25 percent of the costs. This may include the use of existing material and labor.
There are some cost share and acreage restrictions depending on the BMPs used, the type of operation involved, or policy set by the local soil and water conservation district or the N.C. Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Cost share incentive payments are also available to encourage the use of certain agronomic management practices.
The Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP) was authorized through Session Law 2011-145. The program is administered by the NC Soil and Water Conservation Commission through local soil and water conservation districts.
The purposes of the AgWRAP are to:
The Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) is a voluntary, incentive-based program designed to improve water quality through the installation of various best management practices (BMPs) on urban, suburban and rural lands not directly involved with agriculture production.
Eligible landowners may include homeowners, businesses, schools, parks and publicly owned lands.
How rapid urbanization affects water quality becomes important as North Carolina's land use continues to change. CCAP can help educate landowners on water quality, stormwater management and retrofit practices to treat stormwater runoff.
Interested landowners may apply to their local soil and water conservation district for financial and technical assistance for the installation of BMPs to protect water quality. Applications are ranked based on local water quality priorities and, if eligible, a conservation plan is prepared. Landowners may receive financial assistance of up to 75 percent of the pre-established average cost of the BMP.
Union County Soil and Water Conservation District now sells pond grade barley straw as an alternative to chemicals for pond and lake management. The purpose of the straw is to prevent the growth of algal blooms, not to kill those that already exist.
The Union County Soil and Water Conservation District has three Truax No-Till Seed Drills (2 five foot and 1 eight foot) available for rent. These drills plant a wide variety of seeds, from large seed such as fescue and rye to small seed such as clover and millet. The purpose of the no-till drills are to quickly and efficiently plant the seed with minimal soil disturbance.