4730 New Harvest Ln, Suite 200
Knoxville, TN 37918
(865)523-3338 ext. 3    ~    FAX  (855)584-5853
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Knox County SCD

 

 

 

photo landscape

  

The Knox County Soil Conservation District (SCD) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Knoxville Field Office are working in partnership to help landowners in Knox County conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources.

With cost-share funding provided by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other associated partners, Knox County SCD and NRCS have infused over $700,000 into Knox County’s economy between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2014.  These funds turn over 7 times in the local economy, helping to stimulate our County’s economy to the tune of an estimated $4.9 million dollars in the past 3 years.

 Here are some photos of recently installed Ag BMPs on Knox County farms:

Photo exclusion fencing before Before & After photos of Exclusion Fencing along a creek Photo exclusion fencing after 
 Photo heavy use area before  Before & After photos of a Heavy Use Area Protection Pad  Photo heavy use area after
 Photo stream bank access point  Before & After photos of a Stream Access point  Photo stream access point after
 Photo watering trough before  Before & After photos of a watering trough  Photo water trough after
 Photo streambank stabilization before  Before & After photos of a Streambank Stabilization Project  Photo streambank stabilization after

 

 PROGRAM INFORMATION:

Landowners in any County can apply for cost-share funding. There are a host of programs, both federal and state, that provide cost share funds for Ag BMPs. EQIP, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, is the most commonly applied for federally funded program. It, like all other programs, is a reimbursement program, meaning that the landowner pays for the installation of the Ag BMPs up front, and NRCS reimburses the landowner after NRCS personnel ensure that the BMP was installed correctly. The reimbursement rate for this program is 75% cost share. That DOES NOT mean that the landowner willnecessarily receive 75% of his or her actual costs for installing a BMP.  What it does mean is that the landowner will receive 75% of the statewide average cost of installing a BMP. It may cost $3500 on average to install a watering facility in Knox County, for example, while in Hawkins County it may cost closer to $2000 on average. NRCS takes the average cost of installing a watering facility over all 95 Tennessee counties and sets a “payment rate” for that practice each year. NRCS will reimburse a landowner up to this amount for installing that practice. These practices & associated rates are listed in NRCS’s “Payment Schedule”. NRCS publishes a new Payment Schedule each year to adjust for inflation and other variables. This way, we can tell a landowner exactly how much they will get paid for installing a practice, before they install it.

TDA uses this payment schedule as well for their cost share programs. TDA’s most commonly used program is the Agricultural Resources Conservation Fund (ARCF). Your District has to apply each year for funding from this program. The State Soil Conservation Committee is a TDA committee and directs a set amount of funds each year to each District who applies for ARCF funds. This is where your Board of Supervisors comes in. Your Board of Supervisors is responsible for then directing those funds to landowners in your County.

Depending on your situation, the Conservationist(s) will direct you to apply for one or more programs to increase your chances of getting your conservation plan funded with cost-share dollars. We walk you through the entire process to ensure your success. Please don't hesitate to call us with any questions you may have about our programs.

We can be reached at (865) 523-3338 x 3, Monday through Friday 8am - 4:30pm.

These websites will offer more information on most of our cost-share programs:

Tennessee NRCS website: http://www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov/

Tennessee Department of Agriculture website: http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/water/arcf.shtml

 

Upcoming Events

Tue Aug 21 @ 7:00AM - 09:00AM
Knox County SCD Board Meeting
Tue Sep 11 @ 6:00PM - 07:30PM
Soil Health Workshop for Gardeners
Sat Sep 15 @ 9:00AM - 02:00PM
Knox County SCD Grazing School