Virginia BMP Cost-Share program gets historic amount of funding

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:52 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Best Management Practices program is now fully state-funded for the first time giving the program $295 million over the next two years.

This program sends farmers to analyze soil and water conservation districts and incentivizes other farmers to enhance their practices based on the Needs Assessment.

“We took all the different conservation practices and put them in a formula to achieve the nutrient reductions we were trying to meet,” Virginia Farm Bureau Vice President for Governmental Relations Martha Moore said.

Some of the practices include putting up fences around streams to keep cattle out, but then figuring a way for them to get water, creating nutrient management plans, or putting in buffers to reduce the number of run-off nutrients that goes into the waterways. Plus, Moore said there are probably hundreds of others.

Implementing these changes not only helps the environment and water quality. They also help with farm manageability.

“It does help the farmers with the management of their nutrients, so they can get the best use out of that. Right now, with fertilizer prices, they can’t afford to waste a single drop on their land,” she said.

BMP Cost-Share works like a reimbursement program in which farmers who make the conservation changes get rewarded. There is also a loan program that farmers can borrow from if they are not able to pay for the improvements initially.

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