This is the ranking criteria for NRCS programs in Massachusetts.
Funding Pools in Massachusetts
All practices are available at an increased payment rate in a separate statewide funding pool. Definition of Beginner Farmer is someone who has not operated a farm for more than 10 consecutive years.
Certified Organic and Organic Transition
2018 Farm Bill contracts associated with the National Organic Initiatve may not exceed $140,000 in aggregate with no annual payment limitation.
Conservation Activity Plans
Hire an NRCS certified Technical Service Provider to develop one of the following management plans:
Conservation Planning Activities
- Code 102 – Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP).
- Code 106 – Forest Management Plan.
- Code 116 – Soil Health Management Plan.
- Code 138 – Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition.
- Code 199 – Conservation Plan.
Design and Implementation Activities
- Code 101 – Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP)
- Code 120 – Agricultural Energy Design.
- Code 140 – Transition to Organic Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 144 – Fish and Wildlife Habitat Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 148 – Pollinator Habitat Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 157 – Nutrient Management Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 158 – Feed Management Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 159 – Grazing Management Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 160 – Prescribed Burning Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 161 – Pest Management Conservation System Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 162 – Soil Health Management Design and Implementation Activity.
- Code 163 – Irrigation Water Management Design.
- Code 164 – Drainage Water Management Design.
- Code 165 – Forest Management Design and Implementation Activity.
Conservation and Evaluation Monitoring Activities
- Code 207 – Site Assessment and Soil Testing for Contaminants Activity.
- Code 216 – Soil Health Testing.
- Code 217 – Soil and Source Testing for Nutrient Management.
- Code 218 – Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Assessment.
- Code 228 – Agricultural Energy Assessment.
Addressing irrigation water management and efficiences on cranberry operations.
Forest and Wildlife
Forest health, soil health and water quality goals. Prioritizing projects that create vertical and/or horizontal diversity, control invasive plant species, encourage desirable regeneration, or address erosion and water quality. Habitat improvement goals include national or state priority actions (grassland restoration, pitch pine - scrub oak restoration, young forest shrubland restoration, pollinator habitat, aquatic organism passage, riparian buffer establishment); habitat for national or state listed species, or species with declining populations; and invasive plant species control.
Offering funds for:
- High tunnels - to extend the growing season for high value crops by improving plant and soil quality and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport
- Irrigation - to reduce water usage and increase efficiencies on irrigated land
- Pollinators - to provide needed habitat improvements to benefit pollinator species.
CNMP implementation of barnyard management practices addressing water quality issues through such practices as compost facility, waste storage structure, heavy use area, and runoff management.
New England Cottontail
Habitat creation or enhancement for the New England Cottontail rabbit.
Contract for an ag-energy management plan, or install energy conservation and efficiency practices such as insulation, greenhouse screens, root zone heat, HE hot water, plate coolers, variable speed drives, evaporators, and ventilation.
EQIP funding to shellfish aquaculture growers on Cape Cod and the islands to implement best practices designed to protect wildlife, improve water quality, promote healthy bivalve production and reduce vessel strikes.
Classic structural, vegetative and management practices addressing erosion and sedimentation, plant and soil management and water quality. Includes practices such as nutrient and pest management, cover crop, crop rotation, filter strips and buffers, irrigation water, and residue management.
All practices are available at an increased payment rate in a separate statewide funding pool. Definition of a Socially Disadvantaged Farmer is someone who has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their identity as a member of a group.
Addressing resource concerns on farms located in urban areas.