Agriculture_Markets
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
 
   
Joe Morrissey, 518-457-0752, Joe.Morrissey@agriculture.ny.gov
Dave Bullard, 315-487-7711 x 1377, Dave.Bullard@agriculture.ny.gov


October 09, 2014

Commissioner Announces $295,000 to Promote Healthy Soil in the Great Lakes and Mohawk River Watersheds

13 Soil and Water Conservation Districts Receive Funding to Develop Local Soil Health Initiatives

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced $295,000 in funding that will help 13 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the Great Lakes and Mohawk River Watersheds develop soil health programs that will protect New York’s lakes, streams and rivers from potential agricultural runoff.  This assistance is awarded through the New York State Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) Program, which is funded through the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

“New York State is leading the charge nationally under this soil health initiative,” said Commissioner Ball.  “Healthy soil is the lifeblood of farmers.  This funding will provide 13 Conservation Districts with the capacity to create and enhance services to farmers in order to promote and improve soil health.”

The Soil Health Mini Grants provide County Conservation Districts with the opportunity to develop their own programs to bolster the adoption of soil health practices.  From soil health testing to equipment loan programs, the mini grants have generated a wide variety of promising approaches to ensure that our farms are environmentally sound and productive and will remain that way for years to come.

Soil health is the capacity of the soil to function.  Healthy soil has better infiltration, water storage and soil cover, which in turn allows crops to better withstand both storm events and droughts.  It also protects the environment by reducing sediment and nutrient runoff, leaching and reducing the impacts of flooding.

Soil health management involves a reduction in soil disturbance while maintaining a year-round living cover.  Prescribed cover crops naturally produce the fertilizer for growing crops, reduce compaction, and stabilize the soil. 

Ecosystem-Based Management Soil Health Mini-Grants for the Great Lakes and Mohawk River Watersheds will be given to the following 13 conservation districts:

Cortland County Soil & Water Conservation District ........$25,000
Jefferson County Soil & Water Conservation District .......$21,800
Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District .........$25,000
Montgomery County Soil & Water Conservation District ......$25,000
Niagara County Soil & Water Conservation District .........$25,000
Onondaga County Soil & Water Conservation District ........$24,998
Orleans County Soil & Water Conservation District .........$20,674
Oswego County Soil & Water Conservation District ..........$5,885
Schoharie County Soil & Water Conservation District .......$23,500
St. Lawrence County Soil & Water Conservation District ....$25,000
Schuyler County Soil & Water Conservation District ........$23,000
Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District ...........$25,000
Wyoming County Soil & Water Conservation District .........$25,000
Total:$294,857


2014 Press Releases