September 2, 2014

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University of Kentucky awarded USDA grant in conservation innovation

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week $26 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) awarded to 59 entities across the nation for projects that test and prove innovative approaches to conserving America’s private lands.
Awardees for Kentucky include:

·    American Farmland Trust (IL, IN, KY, OH) $221,364 – Coupling precision agriculture with water quality credit trading

·    Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (OH, KY, IN) $1,000,000 – A credit trading registry for the Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project

·    North Carolina State University (AR, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX) $472,962 - Refine and regionalize southern phosphorous assessment tools based on validation and State priorities

·    University of Arkansas (DE, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV, IA, KS, MO, NE, AR, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX) $57,924  - Identify methods to refine phosphorus indices and synthesize and extend lessons and outcomes from three regional indexing efforts

New this year was a special emphasis on water quality trading markets to demonstrate how farmers and ranchers can help municipalities and other point sources overcome high pollution control costs. Twelve entities received grant funds for this purpose.