Agricultural Cost Share

 ERA Agricultural Cost-share Program:

helping you preserve your farm resources

 

Exclusion fencing prohibits animals from entering a stream.  This can reduce manure contamination and stop streambank erosion.

Exclusion fencing prohibits animals from entering a stream. This can reduce manure contamination and stop streambank erosion as opposed to allowing access, which is shown below.

A cost-share program is now available for farmers in the Elkhart River Watershed, which includes parts of Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange, and Noble counties.  The program will provide financial assistance to farmers who are interested in installing conservation practices on their land.  Applicants can receive up to 75 percent cost-share on approved practices.

The program was developed to promote conservation practices in farming operations in order to preserve our local farms and continue protecting our water and soil.  A total of eleven practices will be considered for cost-share.  These include: exclusion fencing/stream crossing, rotational grazing, nutrient management plans, manure management plans, alternative watering systems, no-till/reduced till (conservation tillage), grassed waterways, buffer/filter strips, grade-stabilization structures, cover crops, and wetland restoration.

Traditionally, streams offered an easy and affordable way to water livestock.  The ERA's cost-share program can help farmers install watering alternatives to provide cleaner water to their animals and protect our waterbodies from pollution.  Photo courtesy of Stuart Meade.

Traditionally, streams offered an easy and affordable way to water livestock. The ERA's cost-share program can provide watering alternatives that supply cleaner water to livestock and protect our waterbodies.

Anyone who farms (crops or livestock) in one of the fourteen agricultural critical areas within the watershed may be eligible for assistance.   (CAFOs are ineligible due to 319 regulations.)  Interested parties should submit an application to the Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) .  Applications and guidelines are available below, at the Elkhart County SWCD office or at www.elkcoswcd.org.  Applications are ranked and prioritized by date received, proximity to waterbodies, and best management practice.
 
The agriculture cost-share program is facilitated by an EPA 319 grant awarded to the Elkhart River Restoration Association and administered by their partnering organization, the Elkhart River Alliance.  Contact Nancy at the Elkhart County SWCD for more information: 574-533-3630 ext. 3.
 

Agriculture Cost-share Program Brochure

ERA Agriculture Cost-share Guidelines

ERA Agriculture Cost-share Application

ERA Agriculture Cost-share Ranking