By Brent Addleman | The Center Square
Farmers needing capital upgrades can now apply for state funding.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets has opened the Capital Equipment Assistance Program, where $1.5 million is available due to an influx of federal funding. The $1.5 million is the most ever available under the program.
“Capital investments in innovative equipment are tough to make on many farms especially during the current uncertain economic situation,” Anson Tebbetts, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, said in a release. “We are grateful to provide this opportunity to continue supporting our farmers to innovate and maintain the momentum forward for water quality.”
The funding, according to the release, can be used to purchase new or innovative equipment designed to aid in the reduction of surface runoff at farms for agricultural waste while improving water quality. Odor reduction from fertilizing, along with separating phosphorus from manure and decreasing greenhouse gases and reducing costs are all facets of the program.
One farmer, Normand Thibaut of Colchester, has previous receiving funding under the program for a no-till grain drill.
“With a (no till grain) drill, I am getting a better cover crop stand, and I don’t have to till up my hay fields for reseeding. I am really impressed with it,” Thibaut said in the release. “I recommend using a drill to reseed a hay field, you will be really happy with it.”
Under the program, according to the release, farmers can be assisted with up to 90% of the total cost of equipment.
Applications that are postmarked by Nov. 1 will be accepted with awards being announced Feb. 1. For more information, visit agriculture.vermont.gov/ceap or call 802-828-2431.