Does anyone have any expierence w/ the NRCS EQUIP program? We are getting confused they supposedly gave us a grant for a pond pictured on map on contract and after laying it out for us they decided we had to move it to a worthless spot for us so we cancelled [there is a 10% penalty clause we hope to get out of as they broke the contrat///Now they are offering us a grant fo a High Tunnel damn near enough to pay for the entire kit but we would have to spend a couple of thousand leveling the area for it..need advise if they made us move it after the leveling it woould break us///ADVISE PLEASE
We did a pond with NRCS in the 80s and they didn't really put it in the best place for us. You need to remember that they are working off of fairly strict rules for soil conservation in most cases. You need to adapt and work within those rules. We also had them do cost share on some cross fencing a couple years ago. We did the work ourselves and what they paid pretty well covered all materials. The only thing is that you need to read their regulations on what they require (they call them Practices) and make sure you meet those specifications. We had to go back and change some things and I think the fence is overbuilt for the purpose but it is up. I am debating about working with them in the future. It can be worth the hassles if you have a NRCS office that is willing to work with you and understands what you want to do. Ours is very much a big ranch centric group and if you want anything not normal for that, you need to bring in exactly what you want and the Practices that you are applying so that they can fill out the forms. Some others in other parts of the state are more in tune with smaller scale pasture development and multispecies applications.
Grant Schultz has had some good luck with them and is running a seminar this fall with some topics on how to work with the NRCS.