Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
USDA encouraging farmers to signup for program


January 18, 2010
By Marg Land


Topics

January 15, 2010,
Harrisburg, PA – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Acting State
Conservationist, Dave Brown, is encouraging Pennsylvania agricultural producers
located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to apply for conservation
assistance under the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative (CBWI).


January 15, 2010,
Harrisburg, PA – The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Acting State
Conservationist, Dave Brown, is encouraging Pennsylvania agricultural producers
located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to apply for conservation
assistance under the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative (CBWI).

“CBWI offers technical and
financial assistance to help producers implement a system of core conservation
practices to help control erosion, and to minimize excess nutrients and
sediments in order to restore, preserve, and protect the Chesapeake Bay,” said
Brown. “Core practices include crop residue management (especially no-till and
mulch till systems), crop nutrient management, manure management, cover crops,
buffers, and streamside fencing to keep livestock out of streams and protect
fish and wildlife habitat. In addition, a limited number of other conservation
practices are available to address specific resource problems, such as barnyard
runoff.”

Applications for CBWI are
now being accepted continuously throughout the year to be evaluated, ranked,
and prioritized based on their potential to control erosion and reduce sediment
and nutrient levels in local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. Applications will
be collected and evaluated on a monthly basis.

Pennsylvania producers
throughout the entire bay watershed can apply. Some watersheds have been
designated as targeted priority and priority watersheds because they have high
yields of nitrogen and phosphorus, intense agricultural operations, and local
water quality impairments due to excess nutrients or dissolved oxygen.
Applications from these watersheds will receive additional points in the
ranking system, with the targeted priority watershed areas receiving the most
points. Qualified applications will be approved for funding as long as funds
are available. Applications that cannot be funded can be retained for up to two
years, after which time the producer will need to re-file a new application.

The first step for
producers should be to contact their local NRCS or Conservation District office
to request assistance. Information
on the location of USDA Service Centers can be found at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/.

The application and
information about the new Chesapeake Bay initiative for fiscal year 2010 and a
watershed map are available on the Pennsylvania NRCS web site.