Funding Database: Agriculture Cost Share

Agriculture Cost Share Program

Nonpoint source pollution (i.e., pollution that is not coming from a single place) is the major cause of water quality problems in North Carolina. The NC Agriculture Cost Share Program (ACSP) helps address nonpoint source pollution by providing technical and financial resources for reducing runoff from agricultural lands through a voluntary, incentive-based program. The objective of the ACSP is to reduce nonpoint source pollution from agricultural land into the watercourses of the state through:

  • Properly managing nutrients and fertilizers (specifically nitrogen and phosphorous) to make them less available to runoff
  • Reducing sediment delivery (erosion) into streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries
  • Stream and streambank protection from livestock impacts
  • Managing liquid and solid waste from livestock to reduce impacts to water quality and control insects, odor and stormwater runoff 

ACSP improves water quality through the installation of various best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural lands directly involved with agriculture production. Local soil and water conservation districts work with agricultural landowners and renters to develop and approve individual conservation plans and identify and design the BMPs best suited for the land and acquire preliminary approval of a cost share contract. 

The NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NC DA&CS) Division of Soil and Water Conservation administers the ACSP.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include any landowners or renters of land with an existing agricultural operation that has been operating for at least three years. Local governments and community organizations are also eligible.

Eligible Projects

ACSP assistance and funding is provided for the development and installation of agricultural BMPs. NC DA&CS provides information on the various BMPs eligible for assistance under its cost share programs. The Average Cost Lists and Allocations section on the program webpage includes examples of the support provided for each BMP.

Funding Amount

Funding and technical assistance amounts vary depending on the BMPs implemented. The ACSP News and Program Updates section provides estimates of funding and match requirements for each BMP via the ACSP Cost Share Calculator. Each county sets its own funding caps per BMP, dependent on the funding allocated to each county’s soil and water program.

Match Requirements

ACSP requires a match of greater than or equal to 25% of the total projects cost. Funding is provided as a reimbursement after the installation of each BMP.

Application Schedule

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from the beginning of the fiscal year. Any remaining funding is distributed in mid-June. Some counties and some BMPs may have earlier deadlines.

Application Process

The How does ACSP work? section of the website describes the application process. Start by contacting your local soil and water conservation district representative to request funding or technical assistance and begin the application process. Applications will be processed through your district’s representative. Additional forms are available on the ACSP Resources page.

Application Assistance

Your local soil and water conservation district representative will provide information on the relevant deadlines, assist with the application process and answer any related questions.

Funding Source

The NC Soil and Water Conservation Commission provides this funding through appropriations from the NC General Assembly.

Key Info
Funder NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Program Link Agricultural Cost Share Program
Opportunity Type Technical Assistance; Funding > Grant
Opens Rolling
Closes Rolling
Award Varies
Match Required? Yes
This Page was Last Updated March 22, 2024
Program Contact
John Beck
Agriculture Cost Share Program Manager
NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Completed Project Example