For Florida farmers, it pays to be water conscious. The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) is now accepting applications through July 28 from local farmers interested in participating in cost-share funding for agricultural projects that promote water conservation and improve water quality in area waterways. Up to $1.5 million is available to support the efforts.
Given the drought conditions that have plagued the region this year, water conservation has bubbled up to the surface as a top priority for producers in the area.
The District’s Agricultural Cost-Share Program assists area farmers and ranchers by providing up to 75% of cooperative funding toward implementing water-saving technologies to improve efficiency and protect natural systems.
Eligible projects may include irrigation system retrofits, soil moisture and climate sensor telemetry, rainwater harvesting, sub-irrigation drain tile, tailwater recovery and reuse, soil mapping with variable rate fertilizer application, and expanded waste storage.
A list of eligible projects and equipment can be found at sjrwmd.com/agriculture/costshare.html, along with details about the application, review, and selection process. Applications will be evaluated based on location, water conservation benefits, water quality benefits, cost/benefit effectiveness and timeline.
SJRWMD staff will evaluate each project based on the criteria approved by the district’s Governing Board and prepare a recommended list for board approval in October.