There hasn’t been a better time to apply for the Agency of Agriculture’s Farm Agronomic Practices Program (FAP). The Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets offers funding through the FAP program for soil-based agronomic practices that improve soil quality, increase crop production, and reduce erosion and surface runoff. Previously, the funding cap through FAP was $8,000. Beginning July 1, 2023, that cap will increase to $10,000.
If you are ready to take advantage of this increased cap and influx of financial support for farmers and the environment, the rotational grazing application is due June 15. Down the road, the application deadline for cover crop and fall manure injection will be August 1, and April 15 for next spring’s conservation practices.
A grazing plan is required when applying for the FAP program. Building a rotational grazing plan that fits a farm’s specific situation takes time and knowledge, but Reed says that having a plan is important to creating the positive impacts on animals and pastures that rotational grazing can provide.
Luckily, farms can get help from UVM Extension, the Agency’s Pasture and Surface Water Fencing Program, NRCS, Vermont’s Housing and Conservation Board, and their local conservation districts to help create a rotational grazing plan or to improve the one they have. You can also find a grazing plan template at agriculture.vermont.gov/fap, alongside the FAP application.