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The Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) has traditionally offered cost-share programs to aid farmers in managing their land to increase yields and preserve and improve the environment. Since good woodland management is an important part of the overall land husbandry on many farms, forestry practices have been included in ASCS programs. The current program under which forestry assistance is offered is the Forestry Incentives Program, or FIP.

The FIP is designed to increase the future supply of sawtimber and related forest products, and to enhance our environment. This will be achieved by promoting the maintenance of productive timber stands, and by encouraging the establishment of timber stands on suitable idle land.

Administration - Is carred out through the ASCS office, with technical advice furnished by the Kentucky Division of Forestry. Farmers apply for cost-sharing at the ASCS office usually located in the county seat. The request is then referred to the Division of Forestry. During an on-the-farm visit, the Service Forester determines that the practice is suitable on the area, and explains how to carry it out. He may supply the landowner with a list of vendors who may contract to complete the practice, if the landowner does not wish to do the work himself. After actual need is determined and referred to the ASCS office, cost-share amounts are established. The farmer then receives notice of approval. When the work is complete, the farmer reports to the ASCS, which notifies the Division of Forestry to check the performance. When it has been determined that the work meets program specifications, the farmer is paid according to approved cost-share rates.

Cost-Shares - The ASCS is authorized to reimburse the landowner for a set rate (currently 75%) of the cost of doing the work, with a maximum amount for each unit of work done. This maximum depends on the particular practice and the current program specification. Check with the ASCS office for up-to- date information. Cost-sharing is limited to a minimum of 10 acres under FIP at present.


A) Planting Trees
The purpose of the practice is to establish a stand of forest trees for timber production purposes, and to preserve and improve the environment. Cost-sharing is limited to the planting of trees on sites where the potential productivity meets or exceeds established minimum standards. Cost-sharing is authorized for preparing the site for planting. This normally involves the clearing of brush and other undesirable vegetation which may interfere with the growth of tree seedlings. The current cost-share maximum for site preparation is $37.00/acre.

Tree seedlings for planting are purchased by the landowner from the Division of Forestry. The ASCS reimburses the landowner for 75% of the cost of the seedlings when the practice is satisfactorily completed. The current cost-share maximum for purchasing and planting tree seedlings is $6.50 per 100 seedlings.

Cost-sharing for fencing is limited to permanent fences (excluding boundary and road fences) needed to protect the plantings from grazing. Plantings are required to be protected from grazing. Current cost-share maximum for fencing is $4.25/rod. Total cost-share shall not exceed $20.00 per acre protected.

Cost-sharing is not authorized for planting orchard trees or ornamentals, or plantings for Christmas Tree production.

B) Improving a Stand of Forest Trees
The purpose of the practice is to increase timber growth and quality for the production of sawtimber and veneer logs. Cost- sharing is limited to sites and stands where potential productivity meets or exceeds minimum forestry standards.

Cost-sharing is authorized for thinning, pruning crop trees, vine removal, or releasing desirable seedlings and young trees from overtopping undesirable competition, especially, cull trees. Cost-sharing is also authorized for preparing an area for natural regeneration, as long as sufficient desirable seed trees are present to permit natural seeding. The current cost-share maximum for timber stand improvement is $37.00/acre.

Cost-sharing is authorized for permanent fencing (excluding boundary and road fences) needed to protect a timber stand from the destructive effects of grazing by domestic livestock. Cost-sharing may be authorized for fencing as a single eligible component where it is the only measure needed for successful timber stand improvement. Areas on which timber stand improvement work is carried out under the cost-share program, must be protected from grazing. The current maximum cost-share is $4.25/rod. Total current cost-share shall not exceed $20.00/acre protected.

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Last revised August 14, 1995.

Please send comments to: Duane Bristow (72711.1414@compuserve.com)