There are various State and Federal Programs available to landowners through the USDA-NRCS and Maury County SCD. Some of the practices these programs assist with are cross fencing, pipeline, watering tanks, erosion, wildlife habitat, and water quality.
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a continuous USDA sign-up program that offers financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install and maintain conservation practices, including those related to organic production, on agricultural land or private nonindustrial forestland. Traditionally all funds have been allocated to applications taken during the first signup period running from October 1 to December 20th, with applications carried over from the prior year included in the first funding period. In Maury County most funds utilized in this program have addressed water quality issues associated with animal agriculture. Conservation practices installed most often increase the ability of the landowner to manage land more profitably and provide positive impacts to the local economy. Cross fencing and access control fencing, alternative water systems such as frost proof water troughs for cattle, and pipeline have proved to be the most feasible and popular practices we use. Managed grazing allows a landowner to reduce the time that livestock have access to streams which goes to our local water intake. Managed grazing can also significantly increase forage yields, reduce health problems for cattle and improve wildlife habitat. We also offer several options on seeding cropland or poor pastureland, including establishing native grasses. EQIP offers assistance to address cropland, energy conservation, animal waste management, organic farming, and other resource concerns identified locally. It offers a great tool for good land managers to improve their farmland. The application, ranking and contracting period usually runs from Fall to Spring with practices being completed during the first 12 months after contracting.
Agricultural Resource Conservation Fund (ARC Fund)
The Agricultural Resource Conservation Fund is a program provided by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) to help agricultural producers implement Best Management Practices (BMP’s) that will help improve water quality.
Contact: Jeff Bowie @ 931-388-1307 x3