Board approves $1.5 million in agricultural cost-share projects

PALATKA, Fla., Nov. 15, 2016 -- The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board Tuesday approved the rankings of projects that will share $1.5 million in agricultural cost-share funds to assist farmers, growers and ranchers in water conservation projects that conserve water and result in nutrient loading reductions.

PALATKA, Fla., Nov. 15, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board Tuesday approved the rankings of projects that will share $1.5 million in agricultural cost-share funds to assist farmers, growers and ranchers in water conservation projects that conserve water and result in nutrient loading reductions.

“These 15 projects will make a significant impact on our water resources through reductions in water and fertilizer use,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Our agency is proud to be a partner with the agricultural community on projects that contribute to protecting the health of our water supply and natural systems.”

Projects span six counties and include irrigation retrofits, improved fertilizer application equipment, soil moisture sensors and ponds to capture water that can be reused for irrigation. In total, growers will provide more than $534,000 in matching funds, will reduce water use by an estimated 333.52 million gallons a year, reduce nitrogen use by 15,510 pounds a year and reduce phosphorus by 2,539 pounds a year.

The district developed the Agricultural Cost-Share Program in 2015 to assist farmers and growers with implementing projects that conserve water and result in nutrient loading reductions. To date, 40 projects have been approved since July 2015. Of these, 29 have been completed.