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14 Pickens Co EQIP Program Executive Summary

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Pickens County will hold a sign up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the 2014 Fiscal Year. The signup will be held on a continuous basis.

This program is designed to address resource concerns or problems on cropland, pastureland, woodland, or hayland requiring practices that meet the Alabama Practice Implementation Data FY-2014 containing a list of program payment rates and programmatic restrictions for implementation.  

Applicants will complete the NRCS-CPA-1200 application form and appendix. Submit forms in person, by phone or letter to:

USDA-NRCS or the Pickens County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Service Center Building, Room 304
Court House Square
Carrollton, Alabama  35447
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: 205-367-8168, Extension 3
Fax: 205-367-8565
Contact: District Conservationist

The county’s resource concerns are: (there is no priority order of concerns)

  • Grazing Lands
  • Forestry and Wildlife Health
  • Water Quality/ Animal Waste
  • Erosion/ Soil Quality
  • Irrigation Water Management (efficiency only)

All applications will be ranked and approvals based on an environmental ranking worksheet that has been adjusted to meet local resource concerns. This process is utilized to insure the most environmental benefit is received for the dollars being expended through the EQIP program. The highest ranking application in each resource concern will be approved until all funds have been obligated.

In the event that a tie occurs on ranking an application, the application that was submitted with the lowest estimated contract cost will be ranked higher.

The cut-off date for the first ranking of applications is October 18, 2013. If all monies are not obligated with the first ranking, then subsequent rankings will be held as needed. Unfunded applications will be kept on hand and will be considered for funding at a later date should additional funds become available.  The Pickens County Local Workgroup reserves the right to ensure that all county allocation monies are not allocated to one resource concern, an additional meeting may be scheduled to assign a percentage of the county allocation to be spent on each resource concern.

For  FY-2014, an applicant will be able to enter an application in as many statewide funding pools as he/she is eligible for but they will only be able to apply in one county wide fund pool (example: A  New and Beginning Farmer wants to sign up for tree planting and cross fence and watering facilities.) In the statewide pool he/she can apply in the New and Beginning Farmer pool but in the county pool he/she has to choose between Forestry/Wildlife or Grazing Lands.

The Alabama NRCS state approved EQIP Practice and Payment Schedule for Practices, Practice Restrictions and Payment Rates will be used for Pickens County with the following additional county-wide restrictions:

  • Prescribed Burning (338) - $3,750 limit per operation per contract –regular, $4,500 for Historically Underserved
  • Forage and Biomass Planting (512) - $24,052 limit per operation per contract –regular, $28,863 for Historically Underserved 
  •  Water wells (642) – If the applicant has an existing water supply/source available such as an existing water well, county water, city water,  (i.e. any type of municipal water); then they are not eligible for installation of a water well. This will pertain to grazing lands, woodland grazing, and micro-irrigation system applications.
  • Brush Management (314) – Privet will not be an eligible invasive species for program payments.
  • Herbaceous Weed Control (315) – Kudzu will not be an eligible invasive species for program payments.       

Written leases must be provided for the length of the contract where applicants installing practices are not the current landowner(s). Structural practices installed must have prior written approval of landowner(s).

If a landowner has received an incentive payment in a previous EQIP contract, they will not be allowed to receive additional incentive payments for the same practice and/or practice level during the life of the present farm bill.

Limited Resource Farmers, New and Beginning Farmers, and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers will be paid at an increased payment rate. Applicants are required to self-certify that they meet the requirements to qualify as a Limited Resource Farmer and a percentage of these applicants will be subject to NRCS State Office spot checks. 

Additional information is available on the National NRCS EQIP website