Thursday, August 15, 2019

DEP Now Accepting Applications For Grants To Prepare Farm Conservation Plans In Chesapeake Bay Watershed Counties

On August 15, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it is now accepting applications for grants to prepare farm conservation plans in the 43 counties included in the Pennsylvania portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The deadline for applications is April 1.  $1.3 million in reimbursement grants is available.
State regulations require all farmers to implement manure management, nutrient management, or agriculture erosion and sediment control plans and, in some cases, more than one plan. 
The regulations are a key component of Pennsylvania’s effort to meet federally mandated water pollution reduction targets for the Chesapeake Bay.
Reimbursement funds are available to farmers for plans developed on or since January 1, 2019, and a farmer may be reimbursed for more than one plan. Small farmers are especially encouraged to register.
“With 33,000 farms in Pennsylvania’s part of the watershed, development and implementation of agricultural plans go a long way toward improving the health of local waterways,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “But we know that developing these plans can be costly, especially for small farmers. Helping with these planning costs is one more way that DEP is assisting farmers in their efforts to clean up our local waters.”
“Farmers know that feeding a growing population here and around the world depends on clean water and healthy soil,” said Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This reimbursement program offers another measure of support for on-farm conservation efforts, in addition to new and continuing programs in the PA Farm Bill.” 
This is the third year of the Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program. In the first two years, farmers received almost $1.4 million in reimbursement for more than 1,700 plans, covering approximately 315,000 acres.
For more information, visit the Agriculture Plan Reimbursement Grant Program webpage.
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