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Edge-of-Field Monitoring Equipment Available

posted Jun 4, 2015, 7:57 AM by Lyn Munno
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $2 million available to help install voluntary edge-of-field monitoring stations on agricultural lands in 8 states, including 47 Lake Champlain subwatersheds. The application deadline is July 24, 2015. Monitoring stations enable NRCS to measure at the edge of farm fields rather than try to estimate conservation effects from in-stream measurements that are subject to influences outside of the farmer’s control. Edge-of-field monitoring, combined with instream monitoring, can provide a more thorough picture of improvements within a watershed. Conservation practices typically evaluated include planting cover crops and using no till, irrigation water management, and practices to reduce and trap nutrients and sediment.

The financial assistance, available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), helps farmers install and maintain the monitoring systems for up to nine years. NRCS first introduced edge-of-field monitoring as an opportunity through Farm Bill conservation programs in 2013 and has already funded eight projects in Vermont. The results of data collected will be maintained confidentially for farmers’ use and for use by the conservation partners responsible for monitoring.

Interested farmers should contact their local USDA service center for more information.

Information from Amy Overstreet, Public Affairs Officer, Vermont USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, amy.overstreet@vt.usda.gov, 802-951-6796, ext. 221
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