“Farmers are hard-pressed these days,” Weidenbach said. “Projects get expensive.”
Conservation districts apply the state’s Agricultural Environmental Management framework, which sets water quality priorities and helps farmers develop plans to qualify for implementation through the AgNPS Program.
AEM helps farmers make common sense, cost-effective and science-based decisions to help meet business goals while protecting and conserving the natural resources, the release said.
Currently, more than 13,000 farms participate in AEM, which has helped install 5,000 new conservation practices with the assistance of AgNPS Program funds, the release said. Since the program’s inception in 1993, the state has dedicated more than $125 million to the AgNPS Program.
In Delaware County, four farms are candidates for the program this year and at least one application is expected, Weidenbach said.
The funding is made available to county Soil and Water Conservation districts through the state Environmental Protection Fund, the governor’s release said, and grants will be administered by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and the state Soil and Water Conservation Committee.
“With our support, New York’s farms are going to continue to expand, creating more jobs and making our state’s home-grown products popular across the country,” Cuomo said in the release.
The application deadline for the grants is March 31.