The Kentucky Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share Program and the Kentucky Soil Stewardship Program were created to help agricultural operations protect the soil and water resources of Kentucky and to implement their agriculture water quality plans. The program helps landowners address existing soil erosion, water quality and other environmental problems associated with their farming or woodland operation.
The 1994 Kentucky General Assembly established this financial and technical assistance program. Kentucky Revised Statute 146.115 establishes that funds be administered by local conservation districts and the Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission with priority given to animal waste-related problems, agricultural district participants and to producers who have their Agriculture Water Quality plans on file with their local conservation districts. Funding comes from the Kentucky General Assembly through direct appropriations to the program from the Tobacco Settlement Funds and from funds provided by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Practices eligible for cost share are agriculture and animal waste control facilities; animal waste utilization; vegetative filter strips; integrated crop management; pesticide containment; sinkhole protection; pasture and hay land forage quality; heavy use area protection; rotational grazing system establishment; water well protection; forest land and cropland erosion control systems; closure of agriculture waste impoundment; on-farm fallen animal composting; soil health management; precision nutrient management; strip intercropping system; livestock stream crossing and riparian area protection. The most recent cost share handbook is listed in the documents below.
Applications are currently being accepted. The Soil and Water Conservation Commission voted in 2012 to have continuous sign ups. Ranking of applications will be performed once each year on the state level by the Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission at the Kentucky Division of Conservation in Frankfort. Approval of applications is based on a statewide ranking criteria and the availability of funds. Cost share rates are a maximum of 75 percent of the actual installation cost of the practice not to exceed $20,000 per year.