Skip to content

Farm Cost Share Programs Promote Ag Conservation

Cost Share programs and Best Management Practices help promote conservation in agriculture.

In my recent article in Central Florida Ag News, I discussed the importance of Ag Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Cost Share programs that help farmers and ranchers implement the BMPs. Let’s take a look in more detail at some ag conservation options for your Florida farm or ranch. 

When it comes to managing a farm or ranch, being efficient and cost-effective means everything. At the same time, ag conservation is of utmost importance to these operators as they are the truest stewards of the land. Of all the ag conservation methods our nation’s producers practice, water conservation is one of the most important, and difficult, aspects of the farm to manage and continually practice. To help, the federal Farm Bill authorized Cost Share programs which are administered by the UDSA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provide assistance to eligible producers and landowners who implement practices to protect soil, water, air, wildlife habitats, and related natural resources. Fortunately, Florida farmers have various options when it comes to these programs that encourage ag conservation tactics.

How Cost Share Programs Encourage Ag Conservation

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) works with several organizations to assist farmers in implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs).

According to the FDACS, BMPs are “practical, cost-effective actions that agricultural producers can take to conserve water and reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, and other pollutants entering our water resources.” Examples of BMPs include nutrient and irrigation management as well as water resource protection using buffers, setbacks, and swales.  

Most Cost Share programs provide funds that assist farms and landowners implement and execute BMPs. Other programs offer reimbursement for farms practicing certain water conservation methods such as tailwater recovery, irrigation system retrofits, rainwater harvesting, and more.

Cost Share Programs Available

There are a variety of cost share programs offered for farmers and landowners throughout the state. The Office of Agricultural Water Policy works with multiple partners, including USDA-NRCS, DEP, Water Management Districts, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems (FARMS) program, as well as their Mini-FARMS program, both reimburse growers to promote water conservation. Among other district programs throughout the state, the USDA EQIP is also available, which is the Environmental Quality Incentives Program reauthorized in the Farm Bill of 2008.

UF-IFAS has a full list of the Cost Share programs available to Florida farmers and ranchers, check it out to see which might be the best fit for your operation.

Ag Conservation Recognition in Florida

Another resource for Florida farmers and ranchers is the Florida Farm Bureau’s This Farm CARES Program. The organization understands that farmers are leading the way in environmental stewardship and to recognize the commitment and investment made by the state’s farmers and ranchers, they established the County Alliance for Responsible Stewardship (CARES) program. CARES publicly acknowledges and highlights the environmentally sound and economically viable farming practices Florida farmers and ranchers are promoting by implementing BMPs on their operations.

Visit thisfarmcares.org to learn more about how your farm can receive the CARES recognition and for a full list of Florida farm and ranch BMPs.

As the nation’s premier land lender, AgAmerica Lending supports our farmers and landowners who are implementing BMPs and rising to the challenge of ag conservation. If you are looking for a land loan to help sustain your operation, our team here at AgAmerica can provide expertise, support, and a range of loan products.

Related Posts

Sign-up for our newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Copyright AgAmerica ® LLC 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Sign-up for our newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Copyright AgAmerica ® LLC 2021. All Rights Reserved.