In 2010, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), UVM Extension, and the Poultney-Mettowee Conservation District teamed together to develop and administer the Agronomy and Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP).
The goal of ACAP is to devote three staff agronomists to provide direct technical assistance to animal agriculture operations in three distinct regions of the Lake Champlain watershed, and to implement farm practices that will minimize adverse effects of agricultural operations that will improve water quality in Lake Champlain and tributaries.
The staff agronomists will advise participating farmers on topics such as crop production to reduce erosion and nutrient loss from fields, farmstead best management practices for improved manure and water management, fencing to keep livestock away from water resources, reduce phosphorus runoff using soil aeration and alternative manure application systems, whole-farm nutrient balances and other identified Best Management Practices (BMPs).
Two priority strategies of ACAP are:
- increase the number of extension personnel available for on-farm technical assistance, education and support; and
- to provide financial and regulatory incentives to install fencing (temporary or permanent), watering systems, and stream crossings in order to improve management of animals in and around streams and rivers.
Specific areas or practices to be targeted may include:
- Nutrient management
- Nutrient Mass Balance
- Manure storage & handling
- Cover crops
- Soil aeration and/or manure injection
- Conservation tillage
- Field buffers
- Sensitive area seeding/grassed waterways
- Livestock exclusion from streams
- Farmstead clean water separation
- Barnyard areas
- Milking center waste
- Silage leachate
- Livestock mortality
If you are interested in participating in ACAP, please contact the Agronomy Outreach Professional in your region.
North Lake Region:
278 South Main St. Suite 2
St. Albans, Vermont 05478
Central Lake Region:
68 Catamount Park, Suite C
Middlebury, Vermont 05753-1292
802-388-4969 ext. 338
South Lake Region:
PO Box 209
Poultney, Vermont 05764