State funding is available for developing agricultural resource management plans as part of Virginia’s new Resource Management Plan program.
RMPs assess a farm’s current use of stream buffer, soil conservation, nutrient management and stream exclusion practices and recommend other practices needed. Once the plan is approved and fully implemented, the property is deemed to be in compliance with state nutrient and sediment water quality regulations for the plan’s nine-year life. Plans are to be written by state-certified RMP developers.
The RMP program was developed with input from Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and other organizations in the state’s agricultural community.
A total of $160,000 in Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share funding is available to farmers statewide to pay for the development of RMPs. The rate for plan development is $10 per acre with a maximum of $6,500 per plan. Multiple plans can be developed for one farming operation. Details are available from local soil and water conservation district offices.
Additionally, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has issued a $240,000 request for proposals for RMPs to be developed in the Chesapeake Bay region of the state. Proposals that include the number of plans developers will write are due to DCR by Oct. 1. Awards will be announced on Dec. 1, and plans should be completed byOct. 15, 2015.
Developers do not have to be certified to submit a proposal, but all plans must be developed by certified developers. DCR is currently accepting applications for certification. Individuals, corporations and businesses are eligible to submit proposals.
A copy of the RFP is available online at dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/rmp.shtml.