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Pa. project receives funding to improve soil health, reduce water pollution

Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program will fund a project in Pennsylvania to improve soil health and reduce water pollution on farms in Clinton, Centre and Lycoming counties.
Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program will fund a project in Pennsylvania to improve soil health and reduce water pollution on farms in Clinton, Centre and Lycoming counties. nmark@centredaily.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced federal funding Wednesday for 88 high-impact projects across the country, and some of that money is coming to central Pennsylvania.

The funding is part of the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program, according to the USDA’s website.

In Pennsylvania, money will go toward improving soil health and reducing water pollution on farms in Clinton, Centre and Lycoming counties, according to a press release from Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania.

“This funding is good news for Pennsylvania farmers, their land and local rivers and streams. It will enhance the productivity and economic well-being of participating farms, by not only improving the soil, but by keeping it on the farms as well,” Executive Director Harry Campbell said in the release.

CBF will collaborate with Penn State, the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, conservation districts in the three counties and other partners, according to the release.

The project will receive $396,800 from NRCS and then matching funds will bring the total to more than $800,000, said B.J. Small, CBF’s Pennsylvania media and communications coordinator.

“Partners will provide on-farm demonstrations, field days, videos and other educational materials to farmers in these three counties. The goal is to encourage farmers to employ management techniques like continuous no-till planting, diverse crop rotations, integrating grazing with crops, cover crops, and pest management to promote soil organisms and biodiversity,” Campbell said in the release. “Clean water counts in Pennsylvania. Healthy families, strong communities and a thriving economy depend on it.”

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

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