District offers up to $250,000 to local growers who participate in water conservation efforts
PALATKA – The St. Johns River Water Management District is accepting applications through August 26 from farmers, growers and ranchers interested in participating in the Districtwide Agricultural Cost-share Program for agricultural projects that promote water conservation and reduce nutrient runoff within the region.
The cost-share program provides up to 75 percent of cooperative funding, not to exceed $250,000 per applicant annually, toward the design, construction and implementation of technologies and strategies to improve water efficiencies and protect natural systems.
Successful projects from previous years’ funding include several pump automation projects.?With these projects, soil moisture sensors are used to communicate with controllers on the irrigation pumps.?When the correct soil moisture is achieved during an irrigation event, the pumps are automatically turned off.?Growers are also able to control their irrigation systems with their smartphones giving them control even when they are not in the grove.
Additionally, the District’s cost-share program has funded many precision fertilizer projects that have resulted in less fertilizer being applied to crops through more accurate placement as well as variable rate application.?With GPS controllers, growers can avoid overlapping fertilizer patterns and apply fertilizer in various portions of their fields based on varying soil types within the field.
The list of eligible projects includes irrigation system retrofits, soil moisture and climate sensor technology, micro-irrigation, sub-irrigation drain tile, tailwater recovery and reuse, expanded waste storage, and precision agriculture equipment.
The application and program overview for the fiscal year 2022-2023 cost-share program can be found online at www.sjrwmd.com/localgovernments/funding/agricultural-cost-share.
District staff will evaluate each project based on criteria approved by the District’s Governing Board and present projects recommended for funding to the Board for approval.
For more information, visit the District’s website or contact Technical Program Manager Suzanne Archer at email@example.com.