$17M for farmers to protect water quality

The state has made $17 million available to protect and conserve critical soil and water resources on farms across New York. Grants provided through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program will help farmers address water quality challenges in priority watersheds by supporting environmental planning and the best management practices.  

The program provides grants to County Soil and Water Conservation Districts on behalf of farmers statewide. The funding will assist farms with manure storage facilities for better nutrient management, with buffer strips to prevent nutrient runoff, and with cover crops to enhance soil health.

The program also builds on the governor’s efforts to provide water-quality protections across the state through the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017.

The Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program is funded in the 2017-18 state budget through the $300 million New York State Environmental Protection Fund. Since 1993, New York State has dedicated nearly $177 million to the program.

The program is managed by the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets and Soil and Water Conservation Committee. It is a part of the Agricultural Environmental Management framework, a broader effort that helps farmers achieve higher levels of environmental stewardship and more efficient, cost-effective farming systems.

Districts can apply for Round 24 of the program now through Aug. 20. The request for proposals is available on the Department of Agriculture and Markets website. All appropriate materials must be submitted through the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee SharePoint website.

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