Wednesday, December 21, 2016

USDA Announces $396,800 Conservation Partnership Grant For 3 Chesapeake Bay Counties

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday announced 88 high-impact projects across the country will receive $225 million in federal funding as part of the USDA's Regional Conservation Partnership Program, including one grant in Pennsylvania.
The $396,800 grant will help improve soil health and reduce water pollution on farms in Clinton, Centre and Lycoming counties.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA, PA No-Till Alliance, Penn State University and conservation districts in the three counties and other partners are collaborating on the project.
“This funding is good news for Pennsylvania farmers, their land, and local rivers and streams. It will enhance the productivity and economic well being of participating farms, by not only improving the soil, but by keeping it on the farms as well,” said Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation..
“According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, roughly 19,000 miles of the Commonwealth’s rivers and streams are damaged by pollution, and agriculture is the leading source. Healthy soil is key to greater farm productivity and cleaner water across the Commonwealth,” explained Campbell.  “This RCPP funding will be used for innovative conservation practices that will improve soil health and reduce erosion and polluted runoff on an estimated 4,000 acres of farmland in Clinton, Centre, and Lycoming counties.
“Partners will provide on-farm demonstrations, field days, videos and other educational materials to farmers in these three counties,” added Campbell.  “The goal is to encourage farmers to employ management techniques like continuous no-till planting, diverse crop rotations, integrating grazing with crops, cover crops, and pest management to promote soil organisms and biodiversity.
“Clean water counts in Pennsylvania. Healthy families, strong communities, and a thriving economy depend on it.”
Through the Improving Land, Water and Profitability project, the partners will build farmer management capacity to implement strategic farm conservation practices that promote soil health (i.e. maximize in soil organic matter, soil organisms, and nutrients) and improving “whole-farm” conservation performance.
While addressing other resource concerns of the participating farms, the partners will focus on implementing high-level, innovative conservation stewardship practices on 1,000 acres annually for three years, with emphasis on watersheds in Clinton and Centre Counties in Central Pennsylvania.
Project objectives include better soil health management practices to improve farm economic viability through reduced input costs and productivity gains associated with advanced management of soil as a living ecosystem, while also reducing soil erosion and nutrient loss.
Partners will encourage farmers to consider implementing soil management practices through outreach and educational activities such as on-farm demonstrations, field days, educational materials, and on-farm research/monitoring outcomes.
Additionally, in an effort to provide individualized solutions and reduce barriers to implementation, partners will construct specific mentor teams to provide practical advice for farmers throughout the planning and operational phases of implementing conservation practices.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay efforts, visit DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Office webpage.
For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here for a copy of CBF-PA’s most recent newsletter.
NRCS-PA: Remote Sensing Multiplies Evidence Of On-Farm Conservation Practices

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner