New Conservation Funding Now Available Through NRCS Partnership Project with Sustainable Chesapeake

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Farmers in Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed can now apply for $1,363,240 in funding from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement enhanced nutrient management and soil health practices in the Coastal Plain and Northern Piedmont.

Offered in cooperation with Sustainable Chesapeake, this Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project seeks to improve water quality in local streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. Focal practices will include enhanced nutrient management, cover crops, and conservation tillage practices such
as no-till.

Producers who receive services from the following USDA Service Centers may be eligible to participate in this project: Accomac, Chesapeake, Culpeper, Dinwiddie, Fredericksburg, Gloucester, Hanover, Quinton, Rustburg, Smithfield, Tappahannock, Warrenton, and Warsaw. Interested individuals should call or visit their local office to confirm eligibility and complete an application by January 18, 2019 to be considered for FY19 funding. If all funds are not obligated, the next deadlines will be February 15, 2019 and the third Friday of each succeeding month through early summer.

“Projects like this one help landowners become more invested in implementing innovative solutions to conservation problems,” said NRCS State Conservationist Jack Bricker. “Participating producers will realize immediate and long-term financial and production benefits, such as improved operational efficiency, reduced input costs, increased soil moisture, and enhanced drought resiliency.”

Created in the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP empowers local leaders to work with a variety of partners to design conservation solutions that work best for their regions. Sustainable Chesapeake is the lead partner in this tri-state project focused on accelerating the adoption of precision nutrient management and soil health practices in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Virginia NRCS, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Grain Producers Association, Virginia Tech, and precision ag technical service providers and Soil and Water Conservation Districts to bring these additional funding resources to farmers in the project area,” said Kristen Hughes Evans, Sustainable Chesapeake’s Executive Director. “With all the variability in weather and commodity crop prices that farmers deal with every year, the financial assistance programs that NRCS provides are critical to expanding the adoption of conservation practices that strengthen farm financial viability and protect natural resources.”