Grants available to combat drought impacts through improved practices
Special drought relief funds up to $5 million dollars are being made available to farms that are willing to evaluate and demonstrate agriculture practices that help farmers and ranchers adapt to drought conditions. In a time when some farms will be scrambling to generate funds these grants may be a viable aid to allow farms to manage future drought situations. There’s no way to predict when another drought period will occur but having a plan in place helps farms manage risk.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is especially interested in projects that demonstrate:
- Cropping or grazing systems that increase resiliency to drought through improved soil health
- Increases in available soil water holding capacity by enhancing organic matter with reduced tillage, cover crops and organic amendments
- Improvements in water use efficiency for agricultural production
- Coordination with NRCS Plant Material Centers in using drought resistant plants and practices
- Recommendations for appropriate nutrient management following an extended drought
- Analysis on a regional basis of how agricultural production and conservation systems faired during drought conditions
- Agricultural approaches that flourished in low-precipitation areas
- Traditional/historical production practices that have proven effective in dealing with drought
- Alternative feeding systems for confined animal operations that incorporate novel drought-tolerant feedstocks
- Alternative housing or cooling systems for improved energy efficiency and better climate control in confined animal operations
- Technologies that reduce water use in confined animal operations.
You can take a look at the details related to these grants online where the official announcement of this funding is posted. If you do not have access to the internet you can stop by your local USDA- NRCS office where they can help you determine if one of these grants would fit your farms management plan.
By Dennis Stein, Michigan State University Extension
- MSU Extension’s Drought Resources