Agricultural Management Assistance

To provide cost-share assistance to producers on private lands through contracts to construct or improve water management structures or irrigation structures; plant trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality; and mitigate financial risk through production or marketing diversification or resource
conservation practices, including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transition to organic farming.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - For a list of NRCS State Offices with telephone numbers and addresses, see Appendix IV of the Catalog.


Program Accomplishments

Not available at this time.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Eligible producers in approved states may receive cost-share assistance to construct or improve water management structures or irrigation structures; plant trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality; and mitigate financial risk through production or marketing diversification or resource conservation practices, including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transition to organic farming.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must have control of the land for a period of the contract running from a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 10 years.

The land must be in one of the 15 following eligible states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Applicants must have control of the land for a period of the contract running from a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 10 years.

Credentials/Documentation

Evidence that the applicant has control over the land for the life of the proposed contract. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Potential applicants must submit documents to the appropriate local NRCS or Conservation District office.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Application forms are available in USDA Service Centers and conservation district offices as well as in an automated format on the Internet on the USDA NRCS homepage.

Award Procedures

Participants must sign a 3 to 10 year contract based on the conservation plan to receive cost-sharing. Cost share payments are made directly to the applicant upon satisfactory completion on identifiable units of work. Approval of contracts are made by an authorized representative of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

Deadlines

Applicants may submit an application at any time during the year. Applications will be ranked at periodic intervals during the year. Applications that miss the current ranking cut-off date will be held and processed at the end of the next application ranking cut-off date, regardless of whether the cut-off date occurs in the current fiscal year or the subsequent fiscal year.

Authorization

Section 133 of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106-524, Section 524 (b).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Variable, no specified time. Approval will depend on volume of applications received and available funds.

Appeals

Any participant shall have the right to appeal final adverse or potentially adverse decisions made by NRCS.

Renewals

Contracts that are scheduled for less than 10 years may be extended up to the ten-year contract limit, in order for the participant to complete the practices scheduled in the contract. However, the participant must apply all practices within ten years of signing the contract.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Cost share payments shall be based on 75 percent of the cost of the eligible practice installed.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Long term contracts of 3 to 10 years. Cost share assistance is paid when the practice is performed.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

No reports.

NRCS and the landowner or operator make an annual contract status review that includes maintenance of completed contract items, need for deletion or addition of contract items, and as appropriate, the need to reschedule the installation of practices.

Audits

Program activities are subject to audit by the Office of Inspector General, USDA.

Records

The records for all expired or terminated contracts will be kept for 10 years following expiration or termination of the contracts.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-4336-0-1-302.

Obigations

(Grants) FY 07 $0; FY 08 $0; and FY 09 est not reported. (Salaries and Expenses) FY 07 $5,000,000; FY 08 $0; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not to exceed $50,000 per fiscal year. Total cost share payments per the life of the contract shall not exceed $150,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR, Part 1465 regulations in the Federal Register, Volume 68, No. 68, page 17272, April 9, 2003; USDA/NRCS Internet homepage under Programs.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

For a list of NRCS State Offices with telephone numbers and addresses, see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Financial Assistance Programs Division, _ Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013. Dave Mason, Telephone (202) 720-1873, Fax: (202) 720-4265.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

A State developed ranking process and ranking criteria will be used. The ranking criteria will emphasize: the construction or improvement of water management structures or irrigation structures; planting of trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality; and mitigating financial risk through production or marketing diversification or resource conservation practices, including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transition to organic farming.



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