VA Agricultural BMP Cost-Share (VACS) Program

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VDCR)

Grant amount: Up to US $70,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: For-Profit Business Working Professional Indigenous Group Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Virginia

Location of residency: Virginia

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Agricultural BMP Cost-Share (VACS) Program

The cost-share program supports the use of various practices in conservation planning to treat cropland, pastureland, hay land and forested land. Some are paid for at a flat rate or straight per-acre rate. Others are cost-shared on a percentage basis up to 75 percent. In some cases, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also pays a percentage. The cost-share program's practices can often be funded by a combination of state and federal funds, reducing the landowner‘s expense to less than 30 percent of the total cost.

Because demand for cost-share assistance is great, SWCDs support the implementation of only those plans that meet local water quality guidelines. Since some requests can't be satisfied, priority ranking of practices must be used to make sure funds are spent wisely.

An individual may receive a maximum of $50,000 per year for cost-share, except for the SL-6, WP-4 and WP-4b practices, for which up to $70,000 may be paid. In any case, the state cost share payment, combined with federal payments, may not exceed 90 percent of total eligible costs. 

All practices in the program have been included because of their ability to improve or protect water quality. Many will also increase farm productivity by conserving soil and making wise use of fertilizers and other farm resources.

For the purposes of VACS, agricultural land means land being used in a bona fide program of agricultural management and engaged in the production of agricultural, horticultural, or forest products for market. In order to be considered agricultural land, the real estate must consist of a minimum of five contiguous acres and there must be verifiable gross receipts in excess of $1,000 per year from the production or sale of agricultural, horticultural, or forest products produced on the applicant’s agricultural land for each of the past five years. The greater than $1,000 threshold may be documented by using crop type acres and livestock numbers collected as part of the conservation planning inventory or other acceptable forms of proof including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms or other accounting records certified by a tax preparer that show profit or loss from farm operations. Non-industrial private forest lands are exempt from the $1,000 requirement. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • All individuals and privately held business entities operating agricultural land within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Virginia are eligible to apply and participate in the Virginia Agricultural BMP Cost-Share Program.