Agricultural lands in Culpeper, Greene, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock Counties continue to be eligible for conservation assistance funds from Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD) for stream exclusion fencing, establishing rotational grazing fields, developing water resources, wells, springs and stream access points, reforestation of critical areas and establishing or enlarging buffer areas along waterways. Funds are also available for nutrient management plan development and implementation, cover crops and numerous other conservation practices.

The Commonwealth is making huge commitments to get producers into voluntary conservation programs before any federal deadlines on Chesapeake Bay restoration projects arrive. The CSWCD expects a lot will change with program options and opportunities in the next few years as the Chesapeake Bay restoration deadline of 2025 approaches.

Although significant program sign up recently occurred under last year’s record levels of funding, additional funds continue to be available and now is a good time to contact District staff and explore project options. CSWCD expects program funding to remain available into next year although funding amounts beyond that are unknown. Program funding decisions are made in Richmond, typically one year at a time.

CSWCD encourages producers to explore options now since program options have recently been revised and significantly improved for the producer.

The CSWCD has highly skilled employees who are well trained in both the technical aspects of conservation management and program delivery. Staff members assist producers in developing conservation plans that work for their operation and navigating program opportunities. Not all programs are created equal and staff members assist applicants in understanding the options and choosing the program that suits their farm’s needs.

Anyone interested in exploring the many benefits of conservation planning can contact the District at 540-825-8591.