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14 Covington Co EQIP Executive Summary

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Covington County, Alabama, will hold a signup for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2014 Fiscal Year. This signup will be held on a continuous basis. Any eligible land user who has a resource concern or problem on pastureland, cropland, hayland, animal agriculture, or woodland may apply for assistance through this program.

Applications may be made at:

USDA-NRCS
Covington County USDA Service Center
23952 Alabama Highway 55, Suite 1
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
Hours:  Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Phone:  334-222-3519, Extension 3
Fax:  334-222-1565
Contact:  District Conservationist

The USDA Work Group has identified the resource concerns in Covington County listed in priority order:

  1. Soil Erosion/Soil Quality
  2. Grazing Lands
  3. Water Quality/Animal Waste
  4. Forest Health and Wildlife

All applications will be ranked using the Alabama NRCS Ranking Tool and approvals will be given to those applications that will provide the greatest environmental benefits, i.e. those receiving the most environmental points. Applications requesting two or less systems applied within the first year  will receive high priority, three to four systems medium priority and those requesting five or more systems will be low priority. A system is a specific set of practices that are related to the conservation concern. An example could be: Well, pipeline and watering facility. These applied together are one system, but if applied in separate years they would be two systems. An exception to this policy will be Cogongrass eradication; a two year contract is required and will be high priority. 

Contracts will be developed for approved applications in order of descending environmental points until all funds are obligated. Applications will be batched and ranked after the cut-off date of October 18, 2013. Any applications filed later than this date will be considered in the next pool of funding (if additional funds become available). Additional batching dates will be specified if needed. 

Limited Resource Farmers, Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and New/Beginner Farmers will be paid at an increased payment rate.

Limited conservation practices are as following:

  • Residue Management (conservation tillage) $8,100 limit per year, 2 year limit per participant.
  • Conservation Crop Rotation (sod based rotation) will be limited to $17,990 per participant.
  • Tree/Shrub Establishment limited to $10,000.
  • Restoration and Management of Rare and Declining Habitat limited to $10,000.
  • Pasture Planting will be limited to $17,925. Site preparation for grass planting must have been completed for contract approval. Planting can be accomplished under normal agricultural operations. 
  • Critical area treatment will be limited to $10,000.
  • Site Preparation limited, not to exceed medium site preparation rates.
  • Prescribed Burning and Firebreaks limited to tree planting and mid rotation release. 
  • Herbaceous Weed Control.  Kudzu - $4,000 Initial treatment year limit, $2,400 follow up treatment year limit, 2 year limit.  Cogongrass - $3,000 Initial treatment year limit, 2 year limit.
  • Forestland light to moderate release or thinning will be limited to $13,000.

Eligible Practices include:

  • 315 Herbaceous Weed Control (Cogongrass or Kudzu control)
  • 316 Animal Mortality Facility (incinerator, freezer)
  • 317 Composting Facility
  • 328 Conservation Crop Rotation (grassed based rotation)
  • 342 Critical Area Planting
  • 362 Diversion
  • 647 Early Successional Habitat Management
  • 382 Fence (cross fence only)
  • 394 Firebreak
  • 490 Forest Site Preparation
  • 666 Forest Stand Improvement (Light to moderate releases or thinning)
  • 410 Grade Stabilization Structure
  • 412 Grassed Waterway
  • 561 Heavy Use Area Protection
  • 422 Hedgerows
  • 466 Land Smoothing
  • 484 Mulching
  • 590 Nutrient Management (wastewater irrigation)
  • 512 Pasture and Hayland Planting
  • 516 Pipeline
  • 378 Pond (livestock water only)
  • 338 Prescribed Burning
  • 329 Residue Management (strip-till/ No-till)
  • 340 Cover Crop
  • 643 Restoration and Management of Rare and Declining Species (longleaf pine ecosystem)
  • 381 Silvopasture
  • 578 Stream Crossing
  • 600 Terrace 
  • 612 Tree/Shrub Establishment
  • 620 Underground Outlet
  • 645 Upland Wildlife Habitat Management (Feral Hog, Cogongrass and Kudzu control)
  • 472 Use Exclusion
  • 749 Waste Field Storage
  • 313 Waste Storage Facility (dry stack)
  • 359 Waste Treatment Lagoon
  • 638 Water and Sediment Control Basin
  • 614 Watering Facility
  • 642 Water Well

Additional information is available on the National NRCS EQIP website.