February 3, 2012
Funding is Now Available for Farm Improvements
(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is pleased to announce that funding is now available to farmers interested in improving farm profitability and water quality through the installation of on-farm conservation practices.
The funding is available for a limited time to farmers in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wyoming and Lycoming counties.
The funding is being made available through CBF's "Buffer Bonus" program, in cooperation with the Bradford County Conservation District. The program has enabled current and past participants to make on-farm improvements including rotational grazing practices such as fencing, watering systems, and laneways. Other options include the installation of waste transfer lines for milk house waste and silage leachate, stabilization of access roads, and the installation of roof gutters, to include a few.
"These conservation improvements are a win-win for both the farmer and local water quality," said Jennifer Johns, CBF Buffer Specialist in Bradford County. "While each project ultimately produces different results, we find that creating healthier living conditions for the livestock through the installation of conservation practices improves herd health and the farmer's bottom line."
Another goal of this program is to provide, at no cost to the farmer, a new or updated Conservation and Nutrient Management Plan. By combining this plan with an engineer's evaluation of the farm, which is also provided, the plans are then considered a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan or a CNMP. Having a CNMP enables the farmer to apply for federal funding to assist with larger on-farm improvements such as manure storage facilities and concrete barnyards.
Farmers interested in participating in the Buffer Bonus program must be willing to install a forested riparian streamside buffer through the USDA's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Those already enrolled in CREP with a contract date of April 1, 2009 or later may be eligible to enroll.
This funding will not be available for long and farms will be served on a first come first serve basis.
For more information contact:
- Bradford/Sullivan Counties: Jennifer Johns, 570-578-6900
- Tioga/Lycoming Counties: Steve Smith, 570-578-7000
- Susquehanna/Wyoming Counties: Jeremy Wagner, 570-278-1011, ext. 107.