Record Level Funding Available for Virginia Farmers for Soil & Water Conservation
According to a press release from the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation, the new state budget is giving farmers record funding for soil and water conservation. Producers throughout Virginia will benefit from expanded cost-share and tax credit opportunities.
The Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program, or VACS, is funded at a record high level for the 2022-2023 program year with $123 million.
VACS is the state program that helps farms implement a range of conservation practices that protect water quality. By improving animal and soil health and reducing nutrient waste, these practices also help increase farm profitability — a key issue for producers as inflation rises.
The Department of Conservation & Recreation administers the state cost-share program in partnership with Virginia’s 47 soil and water conservation districts.
Farmers may receive up to $300,000 in state cost-share reimbursement for more than seventy best management practices including cover crops, nutrient management plans, forested or herbaceous buffers, animal waste systems and livestock stream-exclusion systems.
Many of these practices can often be funded through a combination of state and federal funds, reducing the farmer’s expense to less than 25% of the total cost.
Also available to Virginia’s farmers this year are up to $25,000 in state tax credits for fully implemented agricultural best management practices and up to $50,000 in tax credits for best management practices on lands with an approved resource management plan.
To apply for funding or tax credits, farmers should contact their local soil and water conservation districts.
More information on Virginia’s soil and water conservation programs can be found at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/.