Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $13.1 million has been awarded to fund 42 agricultural water quality conservation projects across New York State in mid-July, 2016. This funding will benefit 120 farms. The funding has been designated to the Soil and Water Conservation Districts in 25 counties throughout the State. The funding is earmarked to allow farmers to address water quality issues in watersheds classified as “priority.” It is expected that these projects will improve New York by preventing water pollution, reducing erosion and limit the amount of harmful sediments and other deposits in New York’s water system.
While announcing the program budget increase, Governor Cuomo stated: “Ensuring that New York’s waterways remain pristine is essential to the long-term viability of our booming agricultural industry. This funding will provide farmers with the resources they need to protect our treasured waters and surrounding communities, and foster sound environmental stewardship while supporting more than 120 farms across the state.”
County Soil and Water Conservation Districts will compete for the grant funds on behalf of local farmers. The funds can be used to conduct environmental planning and implement best management practices. Some of the best management practices that will be awarded funding will include agricultural waste storage systems, riparian buffer systems, conservation cover crops and structural soil conservation practices.
The New York State Soil and Conservation District program was founded in 1994. Since that time, more than $125 million has been awarded to 53 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts across New York to help farmers reduce and prevent pollution from agricultural sources.
The program is funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). New York State has increased funding to the New York Environmental Protection Fund to $300 million in the 2016-2017 State Budget. The program is administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee. The goal of the committee is to support the Agricultural Environmental Management framework, a broader effort that helps farmers achieve better water quality, climate resiliency and more effective farming systems.
At Tanner Insurance Agency, we strive to help local farmers. To learn more about our programs, visit: http://www.tiains.com/insurance-quotes/business-insurance/farm-insurance.