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News Release

USDA NRCS Invests in Vermont for Innovative Approaches to Environmental Conservation

Natural Resources Conservation Service
356 Mountain View Drive, Suite 105
Colchester, VT 05446
Voice 802.951.6796
Email: mary.jacobson@vt.usda.gov

Web: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/vt/home/

Release No.: 14002   ­

Contact:
Mary Jacobson, (802) 951-6796 x221
mary.jacobson@vt.usda.gov

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE INVESTS IN VERMONT FOR INNOVATIVE APPROCHES TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

 COLCHESTER, VERMONT – November 13, 2013   The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that specializes in working with private landowners to protect and restore the nation’s valuable natural resources.

NRCS funds an annual Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program with both a National and State component to offer grants for innovative work aimed to advance the field of conservation. Three CIGs awarded in Vermont for 2013, bringing over $220,000 of federal funds to the state.

Stone Environmental, Inc., was awarded $74,750 for an 18 month project to develop a web-based APEX tool for optimizing Best Management Practices (BMPs) and conservation planning on Vermont farms. This award will produce a powerful tool for conservation planners by providing real-time information on the effectiveness of different BMP senarios for specific agricultural fields.

The University of Vermont (UVM) received two CIGs this year, receiving $145,566 over the next 36 months to complete two projects focusing on aspects of soil health. One CIG will fund the development of a working demonstration farm to document reduced tillage systems and their viability on the heavy clay soil in the Champlain Valley.

The second UVM CIG project will validate the effectiveness of cover crop mixes as a worthwhile alternative to fall plowing. The study will demonstrate how planting cover crops can improve soil health, protect water quality and increase crop yeilds for Vermont farm systems. Both projects are under the direction of the Middlebury, Vermont UVM Extension office.

For more information on NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants in Vermont, including eligibility and project descriptions, please visit the Vermont NRCS website: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/vt/programs/financial/cig/

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