Conservation Programs

Various programs exist to address a number of soil and water conservation issues.  Many of these programs are funded by state and federal funds, which are allocated to conservation districts on an as-needed or competitive basis.  This presentation will only focus on those programs that address agricultural cost-share programs.

The objectives of this lesson are to:

1.Be able to define a best management practice (BMP) in general terms.bmp-whcc

2.List and explain 5 incentive programs that are available through VA’s Soil and Water Conservation District to assist with the implementation of agricultural best management practices (BMPs).

To ensure that you understand what a BMP is, here is the following definition from the VA Department of Forestry Website.  “BMPs are practices chosen to reduce erosion and prevent or control pollution.  BMPs have been in existence for many years in the areas of forestry, agriculture, and urban development. Erosion can lead to sedimentation, which is the entry of soil into waterways. BMPs are proven methods to lessen the potential damage from land-disturbing activities”.

Several cost-share programs are specifically designed with the agricultural producer in mind.  These programs provide incentives for farmers to install conservation practices.  The funds or loans are generally allocated or made available to areas having the greatest potential for actual pollution resulting from surface run-off, erosion, leaching, or intense production of animal waste.

This lists the 5 Agricultural Incentive Programs, offered in VA.  In addition SWCDs provide assistance for Federal Cost-Share Programs. However, the focus here will be on the VA Incentive Programs.

  • VA Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMP) Cost-Share Program
  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
  • VA Agricultural BMP Tax Credit Program
  • VA Agricultural BMP Loan Program
  • Small Business Environmental Compliance Assistance Fund