Sources of Conservation Funding


Program Description:

This practice will provide an incentive to keep a cover on cropland, which will help prevent the loss of nutrients. The primary purpose is to reduce winter rain and wind generated erosion, a secondary purpose is to reduce the leaching of nutrients to ground water. This practice is not intended to subsidize winter crop production.

Tax credits are provided for the establishment of vegetative cover on cropland for protection from raindrop and wind erosion and the reduction of nutrient losses to groundwater. Alternatively, participants certifying that they do not intend to utilize any available tax credits may be eligible for cost-share funds. This cover crop may be harvested after of the requirements of this specification have been met. Producers must be fully implementing a current nutrient management plan prepared and signed by a certified nutrient management planer that specifies cover crops as appropriate. No nutrients from any sources may be applied before March 1 of each year, except that use of manure. A good stand and good growth of winter cover must be obtained in sufficient time to protect the area in the fall and winter, or a minimum of sixty percent (60%) of the land area must maintain sufficient cover to intercept rain drops and reduce the impact of wind generated erosion. The cover crop residue may be left on the field for conservation purposes; or the cover crop or its residue may be tilled under; or the cover crop may be harvested after March 14. Harvesting for hay, haylage, silage, grain, or seed is permitted after March 14. Pasturing consistent with sound agronomic management is permitted as long as 60% cover is maintained through March 14.

Landowner Eligibility:

All individuals and business entities operating agricultural land within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Virginia are eligible to participate in the Virginia Agricultural BMP Cost-Share Program. Applicants shall self certify that they meet the above criteria. SWCDs may request that applicants provide proof of agricultural production. To be considered an agricultural producer there must be an annual minimum of $1,000 of agricultural products being produced, sold or both from the applicant's agricultural land (non-industrial private forest lands are exempt from the $1,000 requirement).

Harvestable Cover Crop

Harvestable Crop Cover.
Photo by Piedmont Environmental Council.

Land Eligibility:

Land enrolled in this practice may not be enrolled in another state cover crop practice, and may not be converted to or from another cover crop practice.

Contract Length:

1 year

Cost-Share/Payment Information:

For participants who certify in writing that they will not utilize the tax credit set forth above with regard to the implementation of this practice and who are not receiving payment for cover crops from another source on the same acreage, a state cost share payment rate of $25 per acre is available. Soil and Water Conservation Districts should not issue cost share funds if a good stand and good growth of winter cover is not obtained before December 1 and maintained through March 14.

The current tax credit rate, which is subject to change in accordance with the Code of Virginia, is 25% of the total eligible cost not to exceed $17,500.00. The cost of fertilizer may not be considered when calculating the participant's tax credit.

Legacy Program Information:

Applicants may reapply for this program after the lifespan has terminated.

Signup Information

Sign-up is continuous, however this practice has several time constraints involved.

Additional Resources

Find out more about Virginia's Soil and Water Conservation Districts

 

 
 
 

Program Administrators:

This program is administered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The contact info for representatives serving Piedmont Environmental Council counties are as follows:

Albemarle County:

Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District
Emily Nelson, Conservation Specialist
706 Forest St, Ste. G
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Phone: 434-975-0224
Fax: 434-975-1367
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Clarke County:

Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District
Pete Benedetto, Senior Conservation Specialist
Phone: 540-465-2424 ext. 111
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Culpeper County:

Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District
David Massie, Conservation Specialist
351 Lakeside Drive Culpeper, VA
Phone: 540-825-8591
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Fauquier County:

John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District
Thomas Turner, Conservation Manager
98 Alexandria Pike- Suite 31,
Warrenton, VA 20186
Phone: 540-347-3120 x 3
Fax: 540-349-0878
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Greene County:

Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District
David Massie, Conservation Specialist
351 Lakeside Drive Culpeper, VA
Phone: 540-825-8591
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Loudoun County:

Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District
Jay Frankenfield, Conservation Specialist
30 Catoctin Circle,
SE Leesburg, VA
Phone: 571-918-4530
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Madison County:

Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District
David Massie, Conservation Specialist
351 Lakeside Drive Culpeper, VA
Phone: 540-825-8591
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Orange County:

Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District
David Massie, Conservation Specialist
351 Lakeside Drive Culpeper, VA
Phone: 540-825-8591
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Rappahannock County:

Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District
David Massie, Conservation Specialist
351 Lakeside Drive Culpeper, VA
Phone: 540-825-8591
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Additional Resources

Find out more about Virginia's Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Virginia farmers, such as the one profiled here, have already benefited from instituting alternative watering techniques.

 

Search for more sources of funding

The Piedmont Environmental Council has provided this program summary for informational purposes only, accuracy is not guaranteed. Please consult the program's representative or administrator for full project details and requirements and to inquire about the availability of funding.

The Piedmont Environmental Council has provided this program summary for informational purposes only, accuracy is not guaranteed. Please consult the program's representative or administrator for full project details and requirements and to inquire about the availability of funding.

Conservation Questions?

Our Land Conservation Staff work throughout the Piedmont.

Find the PEC staff person nearest you.

For general questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Free Easement Packet

Important information about conservation easements -- including a sample PEC Easement and guidelines on how to proceed with donating a easement.

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