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NWFWMD accepting applications for ag cost-share program for Jackson Blue Spring

Staff report

The Northwest Florida Water Management District is accepting applications for cost-share funding to help agricultural producers improve water quality and reduce water use in and around the Jackson Blue Spring groundwater contribution area.

The district's Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget includes $1 million in new funding for the Jackson Blue Spring Agricultural Best Management Practice Cost-Share Program. Tee 2013-2016 program awarded more than $3.1 million to 39 producers in Jackson County.

The grant program provides cost-share funding for irrigation system improvements and equipment and tools to reduce fertilizer and pesticide use and improve water use efficiency, protecting both water quantity and quality.

Under the BMP program, the district will reimburse 75 percent of the cost of qualifying BMPs (up to a maximum of $56,250 for each producer), with the producers funding the remaining 25 percent.

Applications for the first award cycle are due August 31, 2017. Applications will continue to be accepted after that date for subsequent award cycles as long as there are uncommitted funds.

Producers who have not previously received funding from the District will be given priority.

A full list of funded measures and an application form is available on the district website at www.nwfwater.com. Producers can contact Angela Chelette (850-539-2650) with any questions about the funding program.

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