The Lake Champlain Basin will benefit from $45 million dollars of conservation funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Programs (EQIP) over the next 5 years. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack announced last August that in 2015, the NRCS will be implementing over $8 million dollars in conservation practices. 60% of the money available for 2015 will be targeted for the most heavily impaired watersheds, including: the South Lake, St. Albans Bay, and Missisquoi Bay. The remaining 40% will fund projects in other areas of the Lake Champlain watershed.
“We’ve found at USDA that voluntary conservation is particularly effective with agricultural interests.” ~ Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture
In all areas, priority for funding will be given to agronomic practices that reduce soil and phosphorus losses, followed by improvements to manure storage and handling on farmsteads. Manure Injection is again included as a practice eligible for funding in Vermont. Farmers in the Lake Champlain Basin will also be allowed an option to receive five years of payments, instead of the usual three years, for specific agronomic practices that include: Cover Crops, Nutrient Management, Conservation Crop Rotation, Prescribed Grazing, Feed Management, and Residue Management.
Information based on release from:
Vicky Drew, State Conservationist, USDA NRCS, 356 Mountain View Drive, Suite 105, Colchester, VT 05446, (802 )951-6796, Ext. 242
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