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					Environmental Quality Incentives
Program
2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                                               October 19, 2010


PURPOSE - The purpose of this document is to provide a Georgia Supplement to the national EQIP
Program Manual. It is intended as a policy document; and to provide additional technical criteria,
and program guidance, only when Georgia FOTG standards and job sheets do not provide
sufficient detail to meet BOTH the technical standard and program requirements. NRCS-Georgia
staff is directed to reference the FOTG on all practices contained within the EQIP practice list.

Contracts will be limited to a maximum of 3 years with the last year being for maintenance.
Practices must be completed within the first 2 years of the contract.


515.51.GA.1 - PRODUCER ELIGIBILITY
The applicant is an individual, legal entity, or joint operation that has an interest in an agricultural
operation; or is engaged in livestock, agricultural, or forestry production as defined in this section.
In accordance with 7 CFR Part 1400, an interest in agriculture means the owner, or renter, of land
which includes a farming operation. The land being offered for enrollment in EQIP is used in
agricultural, livestock, or forestry production; or is capable of growing trees as defined in this
section.

In order 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 operation; or from the land in which
an owner has an interest according to 7 CFR Part 1400. If there were reasons beyond the
producer’s control (e.g., climatic conditions such as drought) to meet this $1,000 annual
minimum, then documentation must verify that the $1,000 minimum has been met 2 of the last 5
years. The $1,000 threshold may be documented by using crop type acres, and livestock
numbers, collected as part of the conservation planning inventory, and estimating associated
dollar values from agricultural statistics data reports, or other acceptable forms of proof including
Internal Revenue Service profit or loss from farming Form 1040, Schedule F or other accounting
records certified by a tax preparer that show profit or loss from farm operations. In lieu of
documentation of the $1,000 threshold, the inherent value of production may be estimated by
using comparable statistical values based on acres planted, or number and type of livestock being
raised to determine program eligibility.

Producers with nonindustrial private forest land must have an interest in the nonindustrial private
forest land, or land capable of growing trees; and are exempt from the $1,000 requirement.


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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                      August 2, 2010
515.51.GA.2 - PRODUCER ELIGIBILITY - AIR QUALITY
Georgia has been designated as having counties that have Air Quality problems showing ambient
air quality standards at “non-attainment” for PM 2.5 and 8-hour Ozone. Special funding has been
set aside to make available to producers in designated counties. These funds must be used only
to address air quality problems. Special Ranking and specific air quality related practices will be
designated for use with this program. All counties involved will be considered as one funding unit.
Those counties involved are:

         Barrow,                        DeKalb,                            Henry,
         Bartow,                        Douglas,                           Monroe,
         Bibb,                          Fayette,                           Newton,
         Carroll,                       Floyd,                             Paulding,
         Catoosa,                       Forsyth,                           Putnam,
         Cherokee,                      Fulton,                            Rockdale,
         Clayton,                       Gwinnett,                          Spalding,
         Cobb,                          Hall,                              Walker, and
         Coweta,                        Heard,                             Walton.



515.51.GA.3 - PRODUCER ELIGIBILITY – ORGANIC INITIATIVE

The 2008 Farm Bill provides NRCS with specific authority and responsibility to provide Organic
Growers, and those transitioning to organic production, with the opportunity to compete for
EQIP assistance. Both EQIP Statute and regulation require NRCS to offer EQIP assistance to
producers wishing to transition to organic production in order to transition to certification as
well as those already certified as organic according to National Organic Program (NOP).
       Producer required to develop and carryout an Organic System Plan (OSP).
       Payment may not exceed $20,000.00 per year, or $80,000.00 during any 6 year period.
       Contract will be cancelled on any producer not pursuing organic certification, or not
        being in compliance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. Contracts will be
        reviewed annually for compliance.




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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                    August 2, 2010
515.70-GA.1 – WAIVERS
The State Conservationist may grant a waiver to start a conservation practice prior to approval
of a contract by NRCS. Waivers are granted for meritorious reasons that include:
    1. Alleviation of imminent or significant environmental problems, or
    2. Prevention of endangerment to life or property, or
    3. Seasonal weather constraints.

In keeping with the above national guidance, the State Conservationist has decided to review
waivers on case-by-case basis when the following conditions are met:
     The individual requesting a waiver meets all program eligibility requirements,
     The individual requesting a waiver has resolved any outstanding eligibility issues with
       the Farm Service Agency,
     The individual requesting a waiver has a completed application on file, and ranked, by
       the local NRCS field office, and
     The individual requesting a waiver has a completed the “Request for Waiver” form at
       the back of this packet.


515.71-GA.1 – HISTORICALLY UNDERSERVED PRODUCERS
Historically underserved individuals and groups include those who have not participated or
have received limited benefits from USDA or NRCS. The purpose of the Historically
Underserved Farmer Assistance is to increase technical assistance and program participation in
all USDA programs through improved outreach efforts to Beginning, Limited Resource and
Socially Disadvantaged Farmers. The target audience is defined as small farmers who have
historically not participated in or never ranked high enough to receive financial assistance. We
must be innovative and allow small farmers to select practices that are best suited for their
particular operations. In addition we must consider affordability, effectiveness, and practicality
for small farmers to implement and maintain these conservation practices.

When accepting applications for historically underserved applicants, one application per
applicant is needed. Applicants meeting historically underserved definition below will be
acknowledged in ProTracts by checking the appropriate block(s).

All participants must meet basic program eligibility which includes the following:
     Be registered in the Service Center Information Management System (SCIMS), or grant
        permission to be registered in SCIMS.
     Be an agricultural producer that produces a minimum of $1,000 in agricultural products
        produced and/or sold for 2 of the past 5 years or IRS Schedule F form showing profit or
        loss from the farm operation. The producer will be allowed to self-certify.
     Must own or have control of the land (lease, rent, etc.) for term of contract.
     Must be actively engaged in the farming operation.
     Can be an individual, entity or joint operation.


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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                     August 2, 2010
        Must be willing to follow a prescribed grazing plan on pastureland to qualify for grazing
         practices, i.e. fencing, watering facilities, wells, etc.
        Complete the appropriate Self-Certification Form(s) at the end of this packet.

Beginning Farmer
    Has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 consecutive years.
    The applicant provides substantial day-to-day labor and management of the farm.
    NRCS may conduct spot check verification of participants who certify as Beginning
       Farmers.

Limited Resource Farmer
 Size of farm is not a consideration.
 Participants who have direct or indirect Gross Farm Sales not more than $155,200 in each of
   the previous 2 years.
 Has a total household income at or below the national poverty level for a family of four, or
   less than 50 percent of the county median household income in each of the previous two
   years. For exact data for your specific location, please visit the website at
   www.lrftool.sc.egov.usda.gov.
 Producers must complete the On-Line Self Determination Tool to qualify.
 NRCS may conduct spot check verification of participants who certify as Limited Resource
   Farmers.

Socially Disadvantaged Farmer
     A person subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their identity as a member
        of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Gender not included!
     Size of farm is not a consideration.
     The State Conservationist may grant up to 30 percent in advance payments for
        purchasing materials or scheduling contractors prior to starting practice installation.

Other Information
    Payment rate will be 90% for Beginning Farmers or Ranchers.
    Payment rate will be 90% for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers.
    Payment rate will be 90 % for Limited Resources Farmers.
       (Payment schedule rates based on average state cost and not on actual cost.)


515.71-GA.2 – ADVANCE PAYMENTS
The State Conservationist may issue advance payments to historically underserved producers
up to 30 percent of the anticipated amount of the costs incurred for the purpose of purchasing
materials or services to implement a conservation practice.

EQIP participants who self-certify as belonging to a historically underserved group are eligible
to receive a payment advance to assist them in completing conservation practices included in
an approved CPC. Advance payments may only be provided for anticipated “out-of-pocket”
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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                      August 2, 2010
costs associated with purchasing materials, supplies, equipment, and services required for
practice installation and that are readily available.

The following criteria must all be met to provide an Advance Payment:
   √ Is for an immediate need.
   √ Approved final design is available.
   √ Pre invoice (estimated materials cost) for practices.
   √ Contract reflects final design extent.

In keeping with the above national guidance, the State Conservationist has decided to provide
additional state policy to assist field offices with processing advance payments.
 Only practices that meet the above criteria are eligible for advance payments in Georgia.
 Funds are to be used for the assignment of payment for all conservation practices as
   needed. Participants are required to initiate practice installation within 30-days and
   complete practices as schedule in their contract.
 Landowners may request an advance payment for through their local District
   Conservationist.
 All requests must be in writing using the form in back of this packet entitled “Request for
   Advance Payment".

515.72-GA.1 – RANKING APPLICATIONS
Applicants that have, or have had, contracts that have been cancelled, terminated or modified
because of producer inactivity will be given a low priority.

515.81.GA.1 – ELIGIBLE EQIP PRACTICE LIST – GENERAL EQIP
NRCS-Georgia, with input from the State Technical Committee, has identified the following
State Resource Issues for fiscal year 2011:

        Forestry                                            Water Conservation
        Grazing Land                                        Water Conservation - B
        Soil Erosion                                        Water Quality

NRCS-Georgia, with input from the State Technical Committee, has identified the following
practices to be eligible for payments during fiscal year 2011 based on the listed State Resource
Issues. Local Working Groups will be asked to prioritize the State Resource Issues and then
select the top 3 practices for each issue.

Forestry
    647 - Early Successional Habitat                        338 - Prescribed Burning
    666 - Forest Stand Improvement                          391 - Riparian Forest Buffer-(ac.)
    590 - Nutrient Management                               578 - Stream Crossing
    655 - Forest Trails                                     612 - Tree/Shrub Establishment-(ac.)
    595 - Pest Management                                   490 - Tree/Shrub Site Preparation

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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                    August 2, 2010
Grazing Lands
    102 - Comprehensive Nutrient                    516 - Pipeline
       Management Plan                               533 - Pumping Plant
    340 - Cover Crop                                391 - Riparian Forest Buffer
    342 - Critical Area Planting                    381 – Silvopasture Establishment
    382 - Fence                                     574 - Spring Development
    561 - Heavy Use Area Protection                 578 - Stream Crossing-(no.)
    590 - Nutrient Management                       313 - Waste Storage Facility(Winter
    512 - Pasture & Hayland Planting                 Feeder
    595 - Pest Management                           614 - Watering Facility
    338 - Prescribed Burning                        642 - Well
    528 - Prescribed Grazing

Soil Erosion
     102 - Comprehensive Nutrient                   590 - Nutrient Management
        Management Plan                              512 - Pasture & Hayland Planting
     327 - Conservation Cover                       558 - Roof Runoff Management
     340 - Cover Crop                               391 - Riparian Forest Buffer
     342 - Critical Area Treatment                  580 - Stream bank and Shoreline
     328 – Conservation Crop Rotation                Protection
     362 - Diversion                                578 - Stream Crossing
     382 - Fence                                    600 - Terrace-(ft.)
     410 - Grade Stabilization Structure            612 - Tree and Shrub Planting
        412 - Grassed Waterway                       620 - Underground Outlet
     561 - Heavy Use Area Protection                638 - Water and Sediment Control
     484 - Mulching                                  Basin

Water Quality
   309 - Ag Chemical Handling Facility              422 - Hedgerow Planting
   591 - Amendments For Treatment of                484 - Mulching
      Agricultural Waste                             516 - Pipeline-(ft.)
   316 - Animal Mortality Facility                  558 - Roof Runoff Management
   317 - Composting Facility                        574 - Spring Development (no)
   102 – Comprehensive CNMP                         580 - Stream Bank & Shoreline
   340 - Cover Crop                                  Protection-(ft.)
   342 - Critical Area Treatment                    578 - Stream Crossing-(no.)
   360 - Closure of Waste                           595 - Pest Management
      Impoundments                                   632 - Solid/Liquid Waste Separation
   647 - Early Successional Habitat                  Facility
   382 - Fence                                      313 – Waste Storage Facility-(no.)
   393 - Filter Strip                               634 - Waste Transfer
   410 - Grade Stabilization Structure              359 - Waste Treatment Lagoon (no)
   412 - Grassed Waterway                           633 - Waste Utilization
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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual            August 2, 2010
        638 - Water & Sediment Control
         Basin-(no.)
        642 - Water Well-(no.)

Water Conservation
   552 - Irrigation Regulating Reservoir                    430 - Irrigation Water Conveyance
   441 - Irrigation System - Micro                          449 - Irrigation Water Management
   442 - Irrigation System – Sprinkler

Water Conservation – B
   340 – Cover Crop (Type 3)                                533 - Pumping Plant for Water
   372 – Combustion System                                   Control
      Improvment                                             552 - Irrigation Regulating Reservoir

515.81.GA.2 - ELIGIBLE EQIP PRACTICE LIST – AIR QUALITY INITIATIVE
NRCS-Georgia, with input from the State Technical Committee, has identified the following
practices to be eligible for cost-share payments during fiscal year 2011:

        309 – Ag Chemical Handling Facility                 430 – Irrigation Water Conveyance
        591 – Amendment for Agricultural                    449 – Irrigation Water Management
         Waste                                               484 – Mulching
        360 – Closure of Waste                              590 – Nutrient Management
         Impoundments                                        512 – Pasture and Hayland Planting
        317 – Composter                                     595 – Pest Management
        340 – Cover Crop                                    533 – Pumping Plant for Water
        342 – Critical Area Treatment                        Control
        561 – Heavy Use Area                                612 – Tree/Shrub Establishment
        422 – Hedgerow Planting                             490 – Tree/Shrub Preparation
        552 – Irrigation Regulating Reservoir               313 – Waste Storage Facility
        442 – Irrigation Sprinkler System                   359 – Waste Treatment Lagoon
        441 – Irrigation System – Micro                     633 - Waste Utilization

515.81.GA.3 - ELIGIBLE EQIP PRACTICE LIST – ORGANIC INITIATIVE
NRCS-Georgia, with input from the State Technical Committee, has identified the following
practices to be eligible for payments during fiscal year 2011. This initiative does not require
prioritization.
     316 – Animal Mortality Facility                      647 - Early Successional Habitat
     317 – Composter                                        Development
     102 – Comprehensive Nutrient                         372 – Combustion System
         Managemnt Plan                                      Improvement
     328 - Conservation Crop Rotation                     382 - Fencing
     340 - Cover Crop                                     393 - Filter Strip
     362 - Diversion                                      666 - Forest Stand Improvement
                                                           410 – Grade Stabilization Structure
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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                    August 2, 2010
        412 – Grassed Waterway                             574 – Spring Development
        561 – Heavy Use Area                               580 – Streambank and Shoreline
        422 - Hedgerow Planting                             Protection
        484 - Mulching                                     578 – Stream Crossing
        590- Nutrient Management                           600 – Terrace
        512 - Pasture and Hayland Planting                 620 – Underground Outlet
        595 - Pest Management                              313 – Waste Storage Facility
        516 – Pipeline                                     634 – Waste Transfer
        338 – Prescribed Burning                           359 – Waste Treatment Lagoon
        528 - Prescribed Grazing                           633 – Waste Utilization
        391 – Riparian Forest Buffer                       638 – Water and Sediment Control
        558 – Roof Runoff Management                        Basin
        381 – Silvopasture Establishment                   614 – Watering Facility
        632 – Solid/Liquid Waste Separation

515.91-GA.1 – PAYMENT RATES
NRCS-Georgia, with input from the State Technical Committee and Local Work Groups, has set a
50-75% payment rate limit for all structural practices. Socially Disadvantaged, Beginning
Farmers, and Limited Resource Farmers are eligible for a 90% payment rate. For EQIP purposes,
any practice that is eligible for a payment (as opposed to an incentive payment) is considered a
structural practice. Cost-share rates for Local Work Groups in Georgia are shown below:

        Alapaha – 50%                                      Ocmulgee River - 75%
        Atlamaha River - 75%                               Oconee River – 75%
        Blue Ridge Mtn – 75%                               Ogeechee River – 50%
        Brier Creek – 50%                                  Ohoopee River – 50%
        Broad River – 50%                                  Piedmont – 75%
        Central Georgia – 75%                              Pine Mountain – 75%
        Coastal – 75%                                      Roosevelt – 75%
        Columbia County – 50%                              Satilla River – 50%
        Coosa River – 75%                                  Seven Metro – 75%
        Flint River – 75%                                  Towaliga – 75%
        Limestone Valley – 75%                             Upper Chattahoochee – 50%
        Lower Chattahoochee -50%                           Upper Ocmulgee – 75%
        Middle South – 50%                                 West Georgia – 75%


Technical Service Providers
FA Funds will only be use for planning of CNMPs (NB 300-10-4).




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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                   August 2, 2010
                                        REQUEST FOR EQIP WAIVER
The applicant must be informed that he/she will begin the process without assurance that he/she will
receive funding. In addition, he/she must understand that the practice(s) must meet NRCS standards,
and the conservation practice(s) must also be included in his/her individual conservation plan.

Purpose: To request a waiver to begin EQIP conservation practice(s) prior to funding. This does not in any
way guarantee contract approval, and practices could be installed without cost share assistance.

Name of Landowner:
                                                    (Please Print Name)

Address:                                                County
City:                                          State:                     Farm(s):            Tract(s):

Please state reason(s) for requesting waiver:


I am requesting a waiver to begin the following conservation practice(s):


I understand this waiver in no way constitutes a guarantee of funding approval for conservation practice(s). This
waiver will expire on: _______________________


Landowner’s Signature                                   Date

 This section for District Conservationist Recommendation/Assistant State Conservationists (Field Operations and Programs)
 Concurrence
Comments:



District Conservationist Recommendation:                                  ___
                                                                  Signature                               Date

Assistant State Conservationist (Field Operations):                                  ___
                                                                  Signature                               Date

Assistant State Conservationist (Programs):                               ___
                                                                  Signature                               Date


 This section for State Conservationist Approval

Approved:                   Disapproved:


STC:

Date:

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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                                  August 2, 2010
                                   BEGINNING FARMER OR RANCHER

      I the undersigned certify that I meet the following definition of a Beginning Farmer.



A Beginning Farmer or Rancher means an individual or entity who:

    a.     Has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more
           than 10 consecutive years. This requirement applies to all members of an entity,
    b.      Will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch.

             1. In the case of a contract with an individual, individually or with the immediate
                family, material and substantial participation requires that the individual provide
                substantial day-to-day labor and management of the farm or ranch, consistent
                with the practices in the county or State where the farm is located.
             2. In the case of a contract with an entity, all members must materially and
                substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch. Material and
                substantial participation requires that each of the members provide some
                amount of the management, or labor and management necessary for day-to-day
                activities, such that if each of the members did not provide these inputs,
                operation of the farm or ranch would be seriously impaired.




             ________________________________________                         ____________
              Landowner/Operator                                       Date




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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                      August 2, 2010
                      SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED FAMER OR RANCHER

   I the undersigned certify that I meet the following definition of a Socially Disadvantaged
                                            Farmer.

According to Section 2501(e)(2) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990
(7 USC 2279(e)(2)), a Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher is defined as a farmer or rancher
who is a member of a “Socially Disadvantaged Group". Therefore a "Socially Disadvantaged
Farmer or Rancher" is defined as:
          1. Socially disadvantaged group - a group whose members have been subjected to
              racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group
              without regard to their individual qualities. The definition that applies to Titles I,
              V, and VI includes members of a group subject to gender prejudice, while the
              definition that applies to Titles II, IX, XII, and XV does not. Title XIV and the
              Education and Risk Management Assistance provision in Title XII do not make
              specific reference to the statutory definition of socially disadvantaged farmer or
              rancher.
          2. Socially disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher - a farmer or rancher who has been
              subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their identity as a member of
              a group without regard to their individual qualities. This term means a farmer or
              rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group. Specifically, a group
              whose members have been subjected to racial, or ethnic, prejudice because of
              their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities.
              Those groups include African Americans, American Indians or Alaskan natives,
              Hispanics, and Asians or Pacific Islanders.

 Note: Gender alone is not a covered group.




____________________________________                           _______________
    Landowner/Operator                                            Date




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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                      August 2, 2010
                                   REQUEST FOR ADVANCE PAYMENT



I _____________________ do hereby request an advanced payment in the amount of

30% on contract #                     for contract item #____ ____________________.
                                                                      Practice Name


I certify that I meet the requirements of an underserved participant (Beginning Farmer, Limited
Resource Farmer, or Socially Disadvantaged Farmer) as defined by CPM 440 Part 512.67 C(1)
and that the advance is for purchase of materials, supplies, equipment, or services for practice
implementation and subject to a refund if the practice implementation is not completed
according to NRCS Standards and Specifications initiated 30 days of receipt of the advanced
payment, and completed within the terms of my contract.



____________________________________ ____________
Participant’s Signature                    Date


_____________________________________                  _____________
NRCS Signature                                         Date




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2011 - Supplement to EQIP Manual                       August 2, 2010

				
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