Photo from Florida Farmworkers Association

“This cost-share opportunity encourages the agricultural community to use water more efficiently and engage in practices that reduce nutrient runoff,” said SJRWMD Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “The projects we fund will minimize impacts to the environment, while also providing operational cost savings to farmers, growers and ranchers.”

Since the Districtwide Agricultural Cost-Share Program began in 2015, more than $12.5 million has been made available to ag producers. More than 9.77 million gallons of water per day (mgd) has been conserved, while annual reductions in total nitrogen are estimated at 414,265 pounds and in total phosphorus at 74,377 pounds.

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.

Eligible projects include irrigation system retrofits, soil moisture and climate sensor technology, rainwater harvesting, sub-irrigation drain tile, tailwater recovery and reuse, expanded waste storage, and soil mapping with variable rate fertilizer application.

The application and program overview for the fiscal year 2021-2022 cost-share program can be found online at www.sjrwmd.com/localgovernments/funding/agricultural-cost-share/#2021-districtwide.

District staff will evaluate each project based on criteria approved by the District’s Governing Board and prepare a recommended list for board approval in April 2021.

For more information, visit the District’s website or contact Technical Program Manager Suzanne Archer at sarcher@sjrwmd.com.

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