Wake County's Soil and Water Conservation staff assist farmers, operators, landowners and citizens on a voluntary basis with natural resource concerns in partnership with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Soil and Water Conservation, and the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Commission.
If you would like assistance with addressing any conservation needs on your farm, please contact one of our natural resource conservationists, or call the main office line at 919-250-1051.
Technical Services for Wake County Landowners with Conservation Concerns
A conservation plan is a tool designed to help better manage the natural resources on a farm, which includes an aerial map, summary of management decisions, the location and schedule of conservation practices, a soil map, information sheets and an operation and maintenance plan. Our office can assist with the creation of a comprehensive conservation plan for a farm to address specific natural resource needs.
Erosion and Nutrient Management Problems
Nutrient management is definitive plan to manage the amount, form, placement and timing of the application of nutrients to minimize entry of nutrients to surface and groundwater and improve water quality.
Practices that our office can provide assistance with in order to reduce erosion and nutrient loss include: cover crop, critical area planting, cropland conversion, micro-irrigation, pastureland conversion, pasture renovation, residue and tillage management, sod-based rotation and more.
Sediment and Nutrient Management Concerns
An expansion on erosion and nutrient management, sediment and nutrient management refer to a planned system to prevent sediment and nutrient delivery to water courses for water quality improvement.
Sediment and nutrient management conservation practices include: Agricultural pond repair/retrofit, agricultural pond sediment removal, agricultural road repair, field border, filter strip, grassed waterway, sediment basin and more.
Stream Protection Management Measures
Stream Protection Management Measures include: heavy use area protection, livestock exclusion fencing, livestock feeding area, stocktrails, stream crossings and more.
Water Quantity Issues
Water quantity concerns are addressed through the Agricultural Water Resource Assistance Program (AgWRAP) from the State of Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The program aims to ensure agricultural producers have a sustainable water supply for their operations.
Water quantity related best management practices within the AgWRAP program include: agricultural water supply/reuse pond, agricultural pond repair, agricultural pond sediment removal, agricultural water storage/collection system, baseflow interceptor, livestock water storage, water supply well and more.
Cost Share Programs and Grants
NC Division of Soil & Water Conservation Cost Share Programs
North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share program (NCACSP)
NCACSP reduces agricultural non-point source pollution from entering North Carolina waterways. It also improves water quality by reducing the delivery of nutrients, sediment and pesticides. Applications are ranked based on resource concerns identified in the county. Applicants can be reimbursed up to 75 percent of a predetermined average cost for each BMP installed. The applicant is responsible for 25 percent of the costs. This may include the use of existing material and labor. For more information, please see the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website.
Agriculture Water Resources Assistance program (AgWRAP)
AgWRAP increases water use efficiency, availability, and storage for agricultural operations. It also implements best management practices to conserve and protect water resources for agricultural operations. The Soil and Water Conservation Commission allocated 70% of available BMP funding for district allocations for all approved AgWRAP BMPs. The remaining 30% will be allocated for new ponds, pond repair/retrofits, water collection and reuse systems, conservation irrigation conversions, and micro-irrigation system conversions through a competitive regional application process.
NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation
NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation Programs
Please refer to the North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation's website for more details.
USDA – NRCS Programs
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
EQIP is a voluntary conservation program for farmers that grow agricultural products. It offers financial and technical assistance for structural and management practices for eligible agricultural land. The 2018 Farm Bill requires a national 10 percent of mandatory program funding be targeted towards source water protection. States will identify priority source water protection areas and may offer increased incentives and higher payment rates for practices that address water quality and/or water quantity. Together, NRCS and producers invest in solutions that conserve natural resources for the future while also improving agricultural operations.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
CRP provides technical and financial assistance to eligible farmers to address soil, water, and related natural resource concerns and their lands. Participants enroll in CRP contracts for 10 to 15 years. USDA's Farm Service Agency administers CRP, while technical support functions are provided by USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, State forestry agencies, local soil and water conservation districts, and private sector providers of technical assistance. Acreage enrolled in the CRP is planted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, which protects millions of acres of topsoil from erosion, improves water quality by reducing runoff and sedimentation, and provides wildlife habitat. The CRP continuous signup is ongoing.
Wake County Programs
Wake County Open Space
Wake County's Open Space Program, the first of its kind in North Carolina, protects remaining open space in the county by working in partnership with local NGOs, municipalities and state/federal agencies. The program's overarching objective is to protect 30% of Wake County’s land area (or roughly 165,000 acres) as permanent open space. For more information, visit Wake County’s Open Space website.