Water-Related News

SJRWMD ranks ag projects for share in $1.56M of grants

District has funded 85 ag cost-share projects since July 2015

PALATKA — Thirteen agricultural projects will share in $1.56 million from the St. Johns River Water Management District to improve water conservation and reduce nutrient loading to area waterways. Projects approved by the district’s Governing Board on Tuesday are estimated to collectively conserve 2.37 million gallons of water each day and reduce total nitrogen by 38,222 pounds per year and total phosphorus by 5,483 pounds per year.

“This cost-share program assists farmers and growers with implementing projects that conserve water and result in nutrient load reductions,” said District Executive Director Ann Shortelle. “Since the program began in July 2015, we have funded 85 partnership projects that support sustainable farming practices and protect the environment while also increasing farms’ production and quality.”

Per the project ranking approved by the board at Tuesday’s meeting, the following Lake County projects will receive funds this cycle:

  • Lake Jem Farms Inc., precision fertilizer application and irrigation conversion
  • Cherrylake Inc., precision fertilizer application
  • Hooper’s Landscape and Nursery, irrigation retrofit and soil moisture sensors
  • Orange Bend Harvesting Inc., precision fertilizer application
  • May and Whitaker Family Partnership Ltd., precision fertilizer application

The district received 22 applications for projects seeking funds through the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Districtwide Ag Cost-share Program for projects in the 15 counties outside the Tri-County Agricultural Area (portions of Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties), which has its own separate funding program for agricultural projects.

The types of projects eligible for funding include irrigation system retrofits, soil moisture and climate sensor telemetry, rainwater harvesting, subirrigation drain tile and more. The program is entirely voluntary and includes a requirement that funding recipients modify their consumptive use permits to memorialize the actual water reductions resulting from the district’s monetary contribution.

For information about district cost-share programs, visit www.sjrwmd.com/localgovernments/funding/.