USDA targets $323 million for farmland and wetland conservation programs


WASHINGTON – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman released $323 million Sept. 6 for the Farmland Protection Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Through the Farmland Protection Program, $48 million will allow USDA to enter into agreements with states, tribes, local governments and nonprofit organizations – such as land trusts and land resource conservation councils – to protect productive farmland through the purchase of conservation easements.

USDA provides up to 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the conservation easement.

Through the Wetlands Reserve Program, approximately $275 million will enable the Natural Resources Conservation Service to enroll up to 250,000 acres into the program.

Landowners who have already submitted applications to the local office will be notified when funds are available for their projects.

Local states. Farmland Protection Program funding for Ohio and surrounding states:

Kentucky, $2,052,700; Ohio, $1,442,800; Pennsylvania, $2,748,400; Michigan, $2,131,600; West Virginia, $250,000; Indiana, $938,400; New York, $1,541,800.

Wetlands Reserve Program funding for Ohio and surrounding states:

Ohio, $4,000,000; Pennsylvania, $200,000, Michigan, $10,000,000; Indiana, $10,500,000; New York, $2,000,000.


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