Financial Opportunities for Farmers and other Reminders

Funding for Farm Equipment

The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has just announced that funding is available for farmers in the Capital Equipment Assistance Program (CEAP). Financial assistance is available for new or used innovative equipment that will aid in the reduction of surface runoff of agricultural wastes into State waters, improve water quality of State waters, reduce odors from manure application, separate phosphorus from manure, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce costs to farmers.   You can learn more about the program on VAAFM website or by printing the CEAP Program Factsheet.

All CEAP Applications DUE (or postmarked by), November 1, 2019.

If you have questions about applying for CEAP funds you can contact VAAFM 802-622-4098. If you have questions about applying for CEAP funds you can also give our office a call at 802-388-4969.

Reminder – Current Use Deadline

Annual certification of agricultural land and farm buildings is upcoming. All owners of agricultural land and/or farm buildings that are also enrolled in the Current Use Program, must annually certify that their agricultural land and farm buildings meet the requirements of enrollment and continue to be eligible for the program.

You should have received an Agricultural Certification form in the mail in late September and the certification submission deadline is November 1, 2019.

You may certify online. Instructions should have been included in your mailings. Additional information about certification is online.
If landowners are not sure whether or not they need to submit a certification, scroll down the webpage listed above to the “Find My Span” box. If you have questions, call the Current Use Program at (802) 828-5860.

Working Lands Program

The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has just announced that funding is available for farmers through the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (WLEB). You can learn more about the program online.

Pre-application period begins October 8, 2019 and is due November 3, 2019. Invited full applications are due January 26, 2020.

*Dairy-Focused Funds: For this grant round, Working Lands has $500,000 to specifically target projects from dairy farm applicants. This funding will be allocated across business grant categories, and projects from $5,000 – $150,000 are eligible.

The WLEB has interpreted this legislative mandate by outlining eligible activity areas, details of which can be found on the website, but include diversification, value-added and innovative solutions to soil health and water quality. Contact Working Lands staff with questions at (802) 622-4477. If you have questions about applying for WLEB funds you can also give our office a call at 802-388-4969. 

Water Quality Grants for Farmers

This opportunity is funded through the state and offered from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB). The Viability Program provides grants of up to $40,000 to help Vermont farmers invest in water quality-related on-farm infrastructure. Any Vermont farm with a gross farm income of $15,000 or more that is required to comply with Vermont’s Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) is eligible to apply. For more information about the program visit their website.

All Applications DUE November 8, 2019 (the next round will be February 7, 2020).

If you have questions about applying for a VHCB Water Quality Grant call VHCB at 802-828-5587. If you have questions about applying for VHCB funds you can also give our office a call at 802-388-4969.

Buffers and Waterways Field Day

Join us Wednesday, October 16

11:00 am – 1:00 pm  

At Mountain Meadows Farm at corner of Vail Rd and Old Sawmill Rd, Sudbury, VT follow signs to the field.  

Grassed waterways and buffers are conservation practices that prevent erosion and nutrient runoff from happening in fields. Join Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition (CVFC) President, Brian Kemp, at his farm in Sudbury-Orwell to see how he has used grassed waterways and buffers on his farm. We will discuss how these practices can be implemented and maintained, view both annual and perennial fields with waterways, ditch buffers and a stream buffer along the Lemon Fair. We will also talk with our partners at the Natural Resource Conservation Service(NRCS) to hear about potential funding for these practices as well. See our flyer here. Or call our office at (802) 388-4969

See our flyer here

To request a disability related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Karen Gallott at (802) 388-4969 or 1-800-956-1125 (toll free in Vt. only) so we may assist you.

Grazing Field Day and Ice Cream Social!

Tuesday July 23rd, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 1966

Healdville Rd, Mt. Holly, Vt 05758

Join us at Plew Farm, a diversified livestock farm owned and operated by Kevin and Patti Plew, for a pasture walk and ice cream social. The Plew’s will share with us how they manage all of their livestock – beef, pigs and poultry – on pasture and are utilizing rotations grazing principle.

Or contact Cheryl Cesario at 802-388-4969 ext 346

Stay Cool and Read Our Newsletter – Summer 2019

In this Issue:

  • Focus on Agriculture: Summer Seeding Options & Other Management Adjustments, by Jeff Carter
  • News, Events & Info You Should Know
  • Save-the-Date 2020 No-Till and Cover Crop Symposium
  • USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture Results, by Kristin Williams
  • Focusing on Effectiveness with Grass-Fed Beef, by Cheryl Cesario
  • Vermont Farmers Are Conservation Leaders, by Nate Severy
  • Nutrient Mass Balance: Operating in the Green Zone?, by Rachel Orr 
  • Research Update: Gypsum Trails, by Kristin Williams

View our 2019 Summer Newsletter Here!

Ag Business Clinics & New Risk Management Website

UVM Extension Agricultural Business Program is hosting their annual business clinics across the state. These 1 1/2 hour appointments are available for producers to discuss farm, forest and maple business management. Ag Business Clinic Info & Registration.

Agricultural Risk Management and Crop Insurance Education Program at UVM has a new website, chock full of handouts and resources for your agricultural enterprise. Check out the Ag Risk website!

Warm Up with a Cup of Coffee and Our Winter Newsletter!

View Our Entire Newsletter Here!

In This Issue:

  • Focus on Agriculture, by Jeff Carter
  • News, Events & Info You Should Know
  • New Revenue Protection For Dairy Farmers, by Jake Jacobs
  • East Creek and McKenzie Brook Highlight 2018, by Kristin Williams
  • Reducing Farm Labor and Conservation Resources: Conservation Farmer of the Year Uses Cover Crops and No-Till
  • Grassland Manure Injection, by Kirsten Workman
  • Year in Review, Summary of Projects

View Past Newsletter Publications.

Updates on Tile Legislation and Tile Webinar Series

Two recent updates on Tile Drainage:

First, if you missed it, the Northwest Crop and Soil team organized a webinar series on tile drainage that is well worth checking out. It details why tile drainage is an agronomic tool, and covers research locally and across the US on how tile may affect water quality. There are also factsheets on pre-installation and tile maintenance.

Find all that HERE!

Second, VAAFM has just filed adopted tile drainage rule.

Here is the press release:

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

VAAFM Files Adopted Subsurface Tile Drainage Water Quality Rule

RAPs amended to include language addressing nutrient contributions from subsurface tile drainage.

November 14, 2018 / Montpelier, VT – On Thursday, November 8, 2018, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) filed the adopted rule amendment to the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) with the ;Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) and the Secretary of State (SOS).  The amendment includes requirements for reducing nutrient contributions to waters of the State from subsurface tile drainage on agricultural fields.  The new rule will become effective November 23, 2018.

Subsurface tile drainage removes excess water from agricultural soils below the surface, usually through a system of plastic piping (image attached).  The rule amendment was adopted on November 8, 2018 and will take effect on November 23, 2018. The requirements of the rule amendment include the required installation of rodent guards on subsurface tile drainage outlets installed or modified after January 1, 2019, the prohibition of new installation of surface inlets located within or next to cropland following the effective date of the amendment, and other provisions focused on reducing nutrient losses from subsurface tile drainage.

The formal rule amendment process began in January 2018 when the Agency pre-filed the proposed amendment with the Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules (ICAR). ICAR reviewed an amended pre-filing set on February 12, 2018. VAAFM made several recommended changes and formally filed the proposed rule on February 28, 2018. Prior to initiating the formal rule amendment process, the Agency was engaged in various discussions and nine meetings to gather feedback pertaining to the content of the amendment, involving 190 attendees that provided insight as the rule amendment process began.

Following the filing of the proposed rule, the Agency held a public comment period which ran from February 28, 2018 through April 20, 2018. During this time frame, the Agency held three public hearings in St. Albans, Montpelier, and Middlebury to gather additional feedback on the proposed rule, in which 33 interested individuals attended. Overall, the Agency received over 50 written and emailed comments on the proposed rule amendment. The final proposed rule was filed with LCAR on August 21, 2018. The Agency attended three LCAR review hearings on September 6, 2018, September 20, 2018, and October 18, 2018. On October 18, 2018, the LCAR voted 8-1 to approve the subsurface tile drainage rule amendment.

The adopted rule amendment, an updated RAP Rule, the responsiveness summary to public comments received, and other pertinent information can be found at: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/rap-tile-rule

For more information on agricultural subsurface tile drainage, please see the Vermont Subsurface Agricultural Tile Drain Report prepared by VAAFM and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/sites/ag/files/pdf/water_quality/Research/TD-Report/Vermont-Subsurface-Agricultural-Tile-Drain-Report-01312017.pdf

Please direct any questions regarding the proposed amendment or the RAPs to agr.waterquality@vermont.gov or call (802) 272-0323.

 

Fall/Winter Events

NMP Update Sessions  
Every winter we teach Nutrient Management Planning (NMP) classes. Because those NMP’s have to be updated yearly with both records and new plans, we also set aside time for previous attendees to come back and update their plans.  
Update sessions are free, but PLEASE RSVP!   

See your flyer for more details, or contact our office with questions – 802-388-4969

Tuesday Nov. 27 & Wednesday 28, 2018
Tuesday Dec. 11 & Wednesday 12, 2018
Tuesday Jan. 8 & Wednesday 9, 2019

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: UVM Extension Middlebury Office, 23 Pond Lane Suite 300, Middlebury, Vt.

Other Locations:
Tuesday Dec 4, 2018
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: The Stonebridge, 38 Beaman St, Poultney Vt.
Thursday Dec 6, 2018
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Pawlet Free Library, 141 School St, Pawlet Vt.
Wednesday Dec 12, 2018
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Rutland Free Library, 10 Court St, Rutland Vt.
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Cover Crop Field Day
November 29, 2018
Time: 10 a.m.- 12 p.m.
Location: Field on Rattlin Bridge Road 1 mile west of Route 22A in Bridport, Vt.
Please join us to take a look at fall cover crops in Bridport, Vermont.  We will see and discuss multiple cover crop combinations in large field-scale plots including oats, winter rye, winter wheat, winter triticale, winter barley and radish. Discover the advantages and disadvantages, seeding rates, timing, manure applications and more. Special thanks to Blue Spruce Farm for hosting these plots and our field day. Water Quality Credits available for farms and CCA credits available for Certified Crop Advisers (pending approval).
Contact Kirsten Workman with questions – 802-388-4969 ext. 347
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Save-the-Dates:
Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition Annual Meeting
January 23, 2019
Time: 5:30 p.m – 9:00 p.m.
VFW, 530 Exchange St, Middlebury, Vt.
Join us as we celebrate another successful year promoting Vermont Agriculture. Hear about hot topics facing Vermont Agriculture and what we as a community can do, followed by evening entertainment from a local comedian. This is a free event, which includes dinner and an annual report of the Coalition’s and UVM Extension Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team work.
RSVP or call 802-388-4969.
More Information will be posted on the Coalition Website.
Vermont Farm Show
January 29, 30 & 31, 2019
Essex Jct, Champlain Valley Expo
Join us and submit your entries! VT Farm Show Website.
More information coming soon.
Our 6th Annual No-Till Cover Crop Symposium
February 28, 2019
Double Tree by Hilton, Burlington, VT
From dry conditions to wet conditions, come discuss with local farmers how adopting cover crops and no-till is helping them save fuel, money and improve crop yield. Talk to ag dealers, learn about funding programs, get updated on the latest research and approaches across the country, and help lead the soil health movement.
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Upcoming Deadlines & Important Information:
Pasture Rangeland & Forage Insurance  
Sign up by November 15, 2018
USDA’s Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) program was designed to
help protect a producer’s operation from forage losses due to one
peril: lack of precipitation. A crop insurance agent will be able to assist you in working through the RMA online Decision Support Tool to help you determine whether or not PRF is the right choice for your farm.
To help make your decision, there is a PRF decision tool online.
Deadline for NE SARE Farmer Grant
Applications due November 27, 2018
“Farmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique.” More information and application online.
NOFA-VT Journey Farmer Program
Applications due December 7, 2018
“This two-year program enables new farmers to advance their farming skills and experiences while being a part of a learning community of other beginning farmers and farmer mentors.” More information and application online.
MFO- Paperwork Deadline for New NOIC
Submit by December 11, 2018
There is a newly revised General Permit (GP), as of June 2018, that VAAFM has to renew every five years, under which all MFO permits operate. This means all MFOs have to re-declare their intent to comply by filing a new Notice of Intent to Comply (NOIC) Form.
More Information can be found on VAAFM website, or call (802) 828-2430.
Manure Spreading Ban Will Come Into Effect
As of December 15. 2018, and no spreading on saturated or snow covered ground. More Information.
MFP – Market Facilitation Program Through FSA
Apply by January 15, 2019
“The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) provides direct payments to help corn, cotton, sorghum, soybean, wheat, dairy, hog, shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries producers who have been directly impacted by illegal retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports.” Read more online, or call your local FSA office.
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(Above) Participants discussing pasture management techniques in our Grazing Planning Class including the use of a grazing stick to determine pasture yield based on plant species, plant density and pre/post grazing height.
Our Middlebury class is ongoing, but there is still a lot of time to sign up for our Rutland class – which will be held March 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2019. Read more information about grazing class, or contact Cheryl Cesario is you are interested in participating – 802-388-4969 ext. 346

Grazing Class

Sign Up For Our Fall & Winter Grazing Class 2018-2019!

Rutland, VT March 5,12,19,26, 2019

REGISTER NOW FOR THE RUTLAND CLASS!

[Past- Middlebury, VT October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 2018]

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m

The fee is $40 which includes The Art and Science of Grazing book by Sarah Flack. This class is for farmers who currently own livestock and want to create, improve or expand their pasture management system.

Do you:

  • Want to change from confinement or set rotation to management intensive grazing?
  • Have a grazing plan, but want to better understand how to implement it?
  • Need grazing infrastructure (e.g. fence, water, animal trails) and would like to design a system that may qualify for NRCS financial assistance?

 Topics Covered

  • Pasture plant identification of common species, looking at favorable growth conditions, and how plants respond to grazing impact.
  • Pasture nutrition and how it can affect grazing behavior and overall intake and animal performance.
  • Grazing management concepts such as measuring dry matter availability, determining paddock sizes, stocking rate versus stocking density and overall acreage requirements.
  • Soil health in pasture systems and the benefits of soil, forage and manure testing to understand nutrient cycling and nutrient management within pasture systems.
  • Pasture system design to determine infrastructure needs and management techniques to avoid overgrazing damage, decreased carrying capacity and other negative impacts.
  • Grazing record keeping systems and the benefits of monitoring and documenting activities

In addition to 4 class dates, there will also be opportunity for one-on-one consultation.

2018 Grazing Class Flyer- PDF

For information or questions, contact Cheryl Cesario- 802-388-4969 ext. 346 or 1-800-956-1125

Directions – Google Map Link to Middlebury Office

Directions – Google Map Link to Rutland Office

REGISTER NOW FOR THE RUTLAND CLASS!

This program is supported with a grant from: