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BILL AS PASSED BY SENATE 2007-2008

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S.291

AN ACT RELATING TO THE FARM AGRONOMIC PRACTICES PROGRAM AT THE AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  6 V.S.A. § 4951 is added to read:

§ 4951.  FARM AGRONOMIC PRACTICES PROGRAM

(a)  The farm agronomic practices assistance program is created in the agency of agriculture, food and markets to provide the farms of Vermont with state financial assistance for the implementation of soil-based practices that improve soil quality, increase crop production, and reduce erosion and agricultural waste discharges.  The following practices shall be eligible for assistance under the grant program:

(1)  conservation crop rotation;

(2)  cover cropping;

(3)  strip cropping;

(4)  cross-slope tillage;

(5)  annual maintenance of a nutrient management plan that is no longer receiving funding under a state or federal contract, provided the maximum assistance provided to a farmer under this subdivision shall be $1,000.00 per year; and

(6)  educational and instructional activities to inform the farmers and citizens of Vermont of:

(A)  the impact on Vermont waters of agricultural waste discharges;

(B)  the federal and state requirements for controlling agricultural waste discharges.

(b)  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall consult with farmers of the state to estimate the annual amount of seed needed to comply with the practices set forth in subsection (a) of this section.  The estimate, to the extent practical, shall include an estimated demand from each county of the state.  Upon completion of an estimate, the secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall consult with the feed and fertilizer dealers of the state to ensure that the estimated amount of seed for each county is available for the practices set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

(c)  Funding available under section 4827 of this title for nutrient management planning may be used to fund practices under this section.

Sec. 2.  REPEAL

Sec. 80a of No. 215 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is hereby repealed and replaced by 6 V.S.A. § 4951.

Sec. 3.  6 V.S.A. § 4824(a) is amended to read:

(a)  State grant.  State financial assistance awarded under this subchapter shall be in the form of a grant.  When a state grant is intended to match federal financial assistance for the same on-farm improvement project, the state grant shall be awarded only when the federal financial assistance has also been approved for awarded.  An applicant for a state grant shall pay at least 15 percent of the total eligible project cost.  The dollar amount of a state grant shall be equal to the total eligible project cost, less 15 percent of the total as paid by the applicant, and less the amount of any federal assistance awarded, except that a state grant shall not exceed 50 80 percent of the total eligible project cost.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us