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14 Blount Co EQIP Executive Summary

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Blount County, Alabama, will hold a sign up 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 cropland, pastureland, hay land, forestland or wildlife land may apply for assistance through this program.

Applications may be made at:

USDA-NRCS
Blount County USDA Service Center
55545 US Hwy 231, Suite A
Oneonta, Alabama 35121
Hours:  Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Phone:  205-274-2363, Extension 3
Fax:   205-274-2360
Contact:  District Conservationist

The USDA work group established a ranking of resource concerns to guide the ranking process in Blount County. The ranking is as follows:

  1. Grazing Lands/Pastureland
  2. Forest Health & Wildlife/Woodland
  3. Water Quality/Animal Waste
  4. Erosion/Soil Quality/Cropland
  5. Irrigation Water Management (efficiency only)

Approvals will be given to those applications that will provide the greatest environmental benefits, i.e. those receiving the most environmental points. Contracts will be developed for approved applications in order of descending environmental points, until all funds are obligated.

The first batching period for ranking and prioritizing applications will be October 18, 2013.  Additional batching periods may be set if funds are available.

The Blount County workgroup approved the use of the NRCS State Practice List and State Program Payment Rates.

Historically underserved applicants will receive a higher rate of financial assistance.

The Blount County workgroup set a high priority on applications that have applied for no more than one system (ex. Watering System= well, pipeline, watering facility, and heavy use area).

Limitations

  • Herbaceous Weed Control (315) and Pest Management (595) will not be offered as financial assistance practices in Blount County.  These are considered management practices in cropland and therefore will be considered as management practices in all land uses.
  • Requirement in Blount County - all ponds funded under the 2014 EQIP Program will be fenced out and have either a gravity fed water trough or a water ramp to provide livestock water.
  • Tree/Shrub Site Prep (490), Tree/Shrub Establishment (612), and Restoration and Management of Rare and Declining Species (643) will be planned for a minimum of 10 acres due to the feasibility of these practices.
  • Tree/Shrub Site Prep (490) will have a limit of $5,240.
  • Tree/Shrub Establishment (612) will have a limit of $4,120.
  • Restoration and Management of Rare and Declining Species (643) will have a limit of $5,720.
  • Residue Management (329) will have a limit of $2,850.
  • Forage and Biomass Planting (512) will have a limit of $19,933.
  • Heavy Use Area (561) will have a limit of $9,100.

Additional information is available at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/