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Agriculture cost-share applications accepted

The Piedmont Soil and Water Conservation District (PSWCD) is now accepting applications for the agricultural best management practices (BMPs) cost-share program.

The cost-share program provides financial incentives, tax credits, and cost-share to agricultural producers who voluntarily install conservation practices on their farm to improve water quality. Agricultural best management practices (BMPs) are measures that farmers can take to not only improve soil and water quality but increase the productivity of their land or farming operation. Benefits include decreased erosion, increased soil organic matter, cleaner streams, and healthier animals.

New this program year are more options for livestock stream exclusion, including higher cost-share rates and a buffer payment, depending on buffer width (distance of fence from stream.) Livestock exclusion practices that are out of contractual lifespan may now be eligible for cost-share funding to re-enroll. There are also new practices to help with rotational grazing. Other available BMPs include: cover crops, which are planted following harvest and act as an anchor to prevent soil and nutrient runoff; long term vegetative cover on cropland, in the form of cool-season or warm-season grasses to reduce soil erosion; and nutrient management, which allows a farmer to apply the correct amount of nutrients to a crop to maximize growth while saving on the cost of excess fertilizers that wash into local streams. Animal waste practices have been expanded to offer options for various operations.

Piedmont SWCD serves Amelia, Nottoway, and Prince Edward counties. To find out more information contact Charlie Wootton at 434-392-3782 ext. 128 or Kevin Dunn at 434-392-3782 ext. 116.