The Agency of Agriculture supports many projects that that improve water quality.
One is Farm Agronomic Practices or FAP.
FAP projects improve:
- Soil Quality
- Increase Crop Production
- Reduce Erosion
- Reduce Runoff
Last year, $76,575.39 was spent on these critical practices covering 3,211 acres and 24 farms.
These dollars are focused on soil health. For example, cover cropping. Cover cropping establishes a seasonal cover on annual cropland, like corn. Cover crops could be grasses, legumes, forbs or other plants that protect the soil. Cover crops are planted as soon as possible after the previous crop has been harvested. It helps limit erosion, keeping the soil in place and out of our waterways.
Funding could also include alternatives to traditional manure spreading. FAP funds are used to finance new ways to spread manure-, like injecting the manure below the soil. This limits runoff and still provides valuable nutrients to the soil.
As we close out the year 2017, more farms are using these new practices. In Fiscal Year 2018, 58 farms have received funding totaling more than $204, 590 with more than 7,000 acres under the FAP program.
It is important to mention this is only a fraction of the acres using these environmentally friendly practices. Federal programs and farmers using their own money are also contributing to this valuable program. FAP funding is just one piece of the big effort by the farmers and the Agency of Agriculture to improve the land and water in Vermont.