Funds added for stream exclusion

From contributed reports
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has announced the availability of special funding for livestock stream exclusion practices in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The money will focus solely on the implementation of two practices: stream exclusion with grazing land management and stream protection. The stream exclusion with grazing land management is designed to exclude livestock from surface waters, while at the same time emphasizing better forage management through establishing a rotational grazing system. This allows for better forage utilization by livestock and can potentially lengthen the grazing season. Alternative watering systems are a component of this practice, which provides clean water for livestock.

The second practice, stream protection, is designed to protect stream banks from soil erosion due to livestock, reduce nutrient loss from fields, and improve overall herd health. The amount of cost share is based upon the estimated cost or actual cost, whichever is less, not to exceed 75 percent. A tax credit is also issued in addition to the cost share, which is based on 25 percent of the producers out of pocket expenses.

Certain watersheds also qualify for 50 cents per linear foot of stream fencing for program participation in addition to the state cost share funding.

The sign-up, authorization and implementation of these practices will occur using existing program guidance and criteria under the Virginia Agricultural Cost Share Best Management Practices (BMP) Program, administered locally by the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District.

Any producer who is interested in excluding livestock from streams, pond, etc. should contact the Culpeper District (540-825-8591) to develop a conservation plan for your property. Funds are available until June 30 and will be awarded on a first-come, first- served basis.

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