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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced last Friday that $2.3 million in funding is available through round four of the Climate Resilient Farming grant program for farmers in New York State. The grants will help farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for and recover after extreme weather events. Since the launch of the program in 2015, a total of $5.1 million has been provided to 40 projects across the state, helping 70 farms implement critical projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy savings, mitigate water and soil quality concerns and increase on-farm resiliency to climate change.

"Extreme weather is the new normal and it is becoming more and more unpredictable each year," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding is vital to helping farmers mitigate the impact of climate change and allows them to take the necessary measures to protect their crops and livestock from damage caused by extreme weather while also helping reduce their environmental footprint."

The fourth round of grants are funded through the State's Environmental Protection Fund. They were authorized at a historic level, with $300 million approved in the 2018-19 State Budget. Moreover, the Governor's Fiscal Year 2020 Executive Budget proposes an additional $5 million for Climate Resilient Farming program projects.

Through the Climate Resilient Farming grant program, County Soil and Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers. Projects can focus on reducing carbon footprints, saving energy, improving soil health, increasing irrigation capacity and emphasizing water management to mitigate the effects of drought, as well as heavy rainfall and flooding, on crops and livestock.

Examples of projects eligible for funding are:

  • Methane reduction tactics, such as using manure storage covers and methane flares
  • Water management practice systems consisting of stream bank stabilization, stream side forested buffers and irrigation water systems
  • Soil health practice systems, including cover crop planting, conservation tillage and managed rotational grazing

The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the Climate Resilient Farming grant program through its Land and Water Division, which works to protect New York's land and water resources through farmland protection, farmland conservation, and proactive environmental stewardship.

The Request for Proposals for the Climate Resilient Farming grant program is located on the Department of Agriculture and Markets website under Funding Opportunities, which can be found here.

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, "As true stewards of the land, New York farmers will benefit from the Climate Resilient Farming program grants announced today. These grants will help farmers utilize cover crops, build their soil health and reduce erosion on their land, as well as other on-farm efforts, which will help reduce agriculture's environmental footprint."

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