Cost Share for Native Plant Establishment
To encourage conservation practices, many federal and state agencies have cost-share programs that will help offset the costs of the conservation practices. Cost-share practices are intended to help protect our nation’s resources ranging from soil to wildlife.
One big advantage of these programs is that the agencies are willing to help pay for establishment and seed costs and sometimes planting maintenance. The agencies also have knowledgeable personnel who will visit the site and help with plant identification, an establishment plan, and much more. These folks are often willing to visit even when cost-share is not desired.
There are some considerations to be aware of when considering a cost-share program for native plant establishment. Anytime someone is willing to share in the cost of the project, they want it to be successful, so there are rules that must be followed in these cost-share programs. Many times, the guidelines provided for establishment and mix creation are excellent.
However, sometimes the program’s establishment timeline may be too short and not achieve the best stand (see our recommendation for a good establishment timeline here). Other times, the mix guidelines may be too restrictive, not include a good diversity of both wildflowers and grasses, or have other drawbacks.
One last disadvantage in the minds of some people is that taxpayer money is being used on private land to fund projects. There are views on both sides of this argument, and we’ll let you figure out where you stand on it!
Federal agencies such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) administer programs such as EQIP, CSP, and CRP (programs are often simply referred to by their acronym).
State cost-share sources vary from state to state, but the state wildlife agency and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) are both good places to look. A good place to start the search for a cost-share program that fits the goals of your project is at a local government office such as the USDA office (this umbrella includes the NRCS and FSA), which is sometimes referred to as the ASCS office.
We are growers of native grass and wildflower seed, and we supply native seed mixes for cost-share programs for many states ranging from the south in Louisiana and Mississippi and northward through Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. We extend eastward from Kansas through Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia. Basically, if Big and Little Bluestem used to grow there, we have species that are native to the area.
The cost-share programs can vary state to state, but number and letter combinations such as CP2, CP4D, CP25, CP23, CP33, CP38, and CP42 are common. Sometimes, however, your paperwork includes words to describe the needed seed mix. Ecosystem terms: Defines the ecosystem to be restored such as Sand Prairie, Shortgrass Prairie, or Tallgrass Prairie.
Wildlife terms: Focuses on habitat for certain wildlife such as pollinators, Monarchs, or quail.
Region terms: Describes the region where the mix is planted such as the Ozarks or Delta.
Soil terms: Desciption of the soils where the mix is adapted such as dry, mesic, or wet.
Seed genetics terms: Describes the seed’s genetics such as Yellow Tag or Source Identified Seed.
No matter what kind of name the cost-share program has, we have probably heard of it, and with the paperwork provided by the government office, we’ll know what you need.
First, receive approval and paperwork for a given cost-share program.
Then, contact us to get a quote. We offer quantity discounts, so if you know other people in your area planting the same mix, team up and save money.
If you are confident about what you need, you can purchase directly from our online store. To help you with compliance, we confirm cost-share mix purchases before processing payment.
When seed is shipped or picked up from our barn, we attach all required seed tags needed for reimbursement by the cost-sharing agency, and if need be, we will work with the cost-sharing agency to get the tags approved ahead of time. If there are confusing terms and concepts such as Pure Live Seed (PLS) or seed count, seeds per square foot, or seed calculator, ask us or click the links above to read an article.