April 27, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Over $2 Million in Funding to Help New York Farms Address Impacts of Climate Change

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Over $2 Million in...

Awards to Help More Than 30 Farms Reduce Their Environmental Impact and Better Prepare for and Recover from Extreme Weather Events

 

Supports State's Environmental Protection Efforts Announced During Earth Week

 

 

2018-19 State Budget Includes Additional Funding for Round 4 Through the Environmental Protection Fund

 

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly $2.2 million will be awarded to 34 farms across the state through the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program. Launched by the Governor in 2015, the program helps farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for and recover after extreme weather events. Through three rounds of funding to date, the state has provided $5.1 million to 40 total projects, assisting nearly 70 farms.

 

"Extreme weather can take a toll on our farms, and with unpredictable storms on the rise across the state, this funding is critical in helping New York farmers invest in preventative and resilient infrastructure," Governor Cuomo said. "These investments will allow our agriculture businesses to fight back against climate change, reduce the environmental footprint of their operations, and support our efforts to create a stronger, more sustainable Empire State."

 

Awarded projects in the Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Central New York, North Country, Western New York, and Southern Tier regions focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting energy savings and soil health. They also increase irrigation capacity and emphasize water management to mitigate the effects of periods of drought on crops and livestock, as well as heavy rainfall and flooding.


County Soil and Water Conservation Districts were awarded grants on behalf of farmers in one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and flare, on-farm water management, and soil health systems.


Mohawk Valley

 

  • Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $74,494 to assist one farm with the implementation of a 45-acre prescribed grazing and 5.7-acre riparian buffer system that will increase soil health and reduce farm based greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $432,659 to work with a dairy farm to install a manure storage cover and flare. The system will dramatically reduce methane emissions from the farm's manure storage, mitigate water quality concerns - especially during major precipitation events, and promote energy savings.
  • Schoharie County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $10,256 to work with one vegetable farm to implement cover crops using no-till planting methods. This project will plant 14 acres of diverse species cover crops to improve carbon sequestration and improve resiliency to the farm during periods of flood and drought.

 

Finger Lakes

 

  • Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $149,085 to work with one dairy farm to install a riparian buffer system and an irrigation water management system. The systems will mitigate nutrient and sediment runoff and allow the farm to store and convey water as needed in preparation for any drought situations.  
  • Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $119,907 to work with four farms to implement cover crops to improve the carbon sequestration potential in the soils and improve resiliency to the farm during periods of flood and drought.
  • Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $281,686 to work with a diverse livestock farm to install a manure storage cover and flare to dramatically reduce methane emissions from the farm's manure storage, mitigate water quality concerns - especially during major precipitation events, and promote energy savings.
  • Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $156,790 to work with one dairy farm to expand a clean water storage reservoir to an irrigation reservoir that will provide additional capacity for drought and flood periods and install a center pivot irrigation system.

 

Central Region

 

  • Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $128,600 to work with one farm to implement a water and sediment control basin system that will prevent erosion and protect the Village of Chittenango from an increased flooding potential due to runoff from the farm.
  • Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $40,760 to work with one farm to implement a 78-acre prescribed grazing system that will increase soil health, improve soil carbon sequestration by promoting plant growth throughout the year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $180,856 to work with one farm to implement a 1.05-acre wetland that will allow for greater storage of stormwater. The project will help to reduce the flood volume downstream and ultimately reduce sedimentation into Skaneateles Lake. 

 

North Country

 

  • Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $103,500 to work with one farm to install riparian buffers systems and ponds for stormwater capture and irrigation. The systems will sequester carbon dioxide emissions and reduce farm runoff to the Boquet River and Lake Champlain.
  • Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $43,696 to work with one farm to install a riparian buffer system and livestock access control. The systems will reduce streambank erosion and sedimentation, provide a reliable water source for grazing animals, and improve the capability of the farm to withstand extreme weather conditions. 

 

Western New York

 

  • Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $85,024 to work with one farm to implement diverse species cover crops that will improve soil quality, reduce erosion during extreme weather events, and increase soil organic matter.
  • Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $82,268 to work with five farms to implement cover crops. These projects will improve the carbon sequestration potential in the soils and improve resiliency to the farm during periods of flood and drought.

 

Southern Tier

 

  • Chenango County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $77,255 to work with six farms to implement cover crops. Cover crops are planted to improve soil quality, reduce erosion, and to increase soil organic matter to improve resiliency to the farm during periods of flood and drought and decrease the impacts of flooding downstream.
  • Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $205,000 to work with seven farms that include dairy, crop, and beef/sheep farms, in three priority watersheds, to implement cover crops. This project will allow for cover crops throughout nearly the entire growing season, which will conserve soil, improve water holding capacity to help mitigate impacts of extreme storm events, and help to protect several public drinking water sources. 

 

The Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program is a part of the State's Environmental Protection Fund. This year, the program was once again funded at a historic level, with $300 million dedicated in the 2018-19 State Budget. A fourth round of the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program was included in the budget for $2.5 million and will be announced this fall.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Our farmers are increasingly faced with challenges when it comes to our changing climate and resulting extreme weather conditions. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's commitment to combatting climate change and protecting our environment, this grant program is helping our farmers better deal with the severe flooding and droughts that we have seen in recent years, while maintaining a high standard of environmental stewardship."


Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie said, "New York State's hardworking farmers understand that their success and livelihood is tied to the health of their land and other natural resources. Through these grants, we are ensuring that farmers receive the support they need to continue to be good stewards of their land and at the same time, safeguard their farms and communities."

Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee said, "It is imperative that our farmers have the tools they need to mitigate the adverse effects of changes brought on by climate shift and adverse weather conditions so that lands remain viable for use by the producers of food and agricultural products we all need and enjoy. This commitment will assist hard working farmers to stay productive, while helping to protect the environment and the agricultural economy of New York State."


New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee member David Brass said, "The Climate Resilient Farming Program is helpful in assisting farms in dealing with extreme weather events from severe precipitation to drought. The program allows farms to implement projects that reduce greenhouse gas production, promote energy savings, and improve soil health, which helps to preserve our natural resources and can also improve farm productivity. New York State and its farmers, continue to be leaders in agricultural environmental stewardship." 

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, "New York's farmers have a long history of sound environmental management, and the grants announced today will support that effort. Increasing the use of cover crops, building up soil health and reducing erosion are some of the long lasting benefits of the projects taking place on our farms. It is fitting that the state's farmers, often seen as the first environmentalists, are being recognized for the stewardship they continue to provide."

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