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 Agricultural Cost Share Program (ACSP) helps address nonpoint source pollution by providing technical and financial resources through a voluntary, incentive-based program designed to improve water quality through the installation of various best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural lands directly involved with agriculture production.
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:
- Develop and approve individual conservation plans,
- Identify the best management practices (BMPs) best suited for your particular operation,
- Design BMPs and help ensure their longevity,
- Acquire preliminary approval of a Cost Share contract.
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 best management practices.