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AL Bulletin 440-14-1

Date:  November 6, 2013

Subject:  PGM – Conservation Program Contracting Guidance

Purpose:  To provide guidance in the area of signature authority used materials, acceptable GPS variance, and number of livestock for well eligibility.

Expiration Date: September 30, 2014.

Signature Authority for Conservation Program Contracts

For all Conservation Program Contracts it is required that the signature on the NRCS-CPA-1202 match the signature on the NRCS-CPA-1245.  The name that is printed on the 1202 and 1245 is the common name that was entered into SCIMS.  It may or may not be the “Legal” name of the individual. Therefore, we are not requiring that the signature match this printed name.

  • Example – John Q. Doe is the common name in SCIMS that prints out on the 1202 and 1245.  He signs all documents as Johnny Doe. That is acceptable.  Signing as John Q. Doe is also acceptable.  He just has to sign each document the same way. 

Used Materials

The use of used power poles (corners and or brace posts) for fencing will be allowed as acceptable materials for conservation program contract financial assistance.  The used material, however, must meet the criteria and the applicant must submit a waiver to the team office for approval.  Used cross-ties are not allowed, but new cross ties are.

Acceptable Measurement of Installation - GPS Variance

When checking out installation of conservation practices, Field Staff should use the most accurate method available for the practice to insure proper measurement (example: HUA should probably be measure with a tape; conservation tillage/cover crop should probably be measured by current aerial photography; tree planting should be measure by GPS).  A field visit should occur on all check-outs to verify proper installation.  Notes that should be recorded are: day inspected, method used (i.e. GPS, wheel, pacing), accuracy of instrument used, person checking installation, and quantity installed.  On quality assurance reviews, the results need to be duplicated to avoid any improper payments.  The reviewer should use the same method used by the field staff at the initial checkout.  If a variance is discovered, a good “rule of thumb” is that a 5% variance could be acceptable. 

The percentage would be less for larger acreages.  The reviewer and the field staff should both be comfortable with the difference that was found.  If, however, a pattern of variance is discovered, appropriate action will need to be taken.

Number of Livestock and a Well

For a Conservation Program Contract applicant to be eligible to receive financial assistance for a well they have to have the minimum number of livestock listed below. If they have less than this number and feel that their operation is viable, they may request a waiver from the ASTC-FO.

  • 5 AU’s for large animals (cows, horses, etc.)
  • 1 AU for small animals (sheep, goats, lamas, etc.) – (ex.10 goats that weigh an average of 100 lbs each equal 1 AU or 20 goats that weigh an average of 50 lbs each equal 1 AU).      

If you have any questions, please contact John Curtis, Resource Conservationist at (334) 887-4539.  

/s/

STEPHEN H. MUSSER
Assistant State Conservationist - Programs

 

 

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