Farms And Agriculture
Farms, orchards and vineyards are an important part of our environment and economy. DEC offers these web pages to:
- Provide information about funding assistance and programs that make agriculture more energy efficient, less polluting and more sustainable.
- Help farms and other agricultural businesses comply with the environmental laws that protect the wildlife, land, water and air of New York State.
Farms, orchards and vineyards are businesses that use significant quantities of fuel, fertilizer and pesticides. Sometimes, agricultural lands are located over desirable deposits of gas, oil and minerals. For these and many other reasons, small and large agricultural businesses are subject to laws designed to enhance both their environmental and economic value. Owners and operators of small and large agricultural businesses can find information on environmental laws and regulatory programs for topic areas, including: air quality compliance, the management of pesticides, lands and forests, waste and whey. Resources regarding bulk storage of petroleum and chemicals are also available.
Improving energy efficiency, developing farm-based renewable energy, and using practices that are more environmentally sustainable can help your farm, orchard or vineyard cut its operating costs and reduce pollution. For example, programs that help you make electricity from biogas, save energy dollars and reduce air pollution. This increases your energy independence and the possibility of developing new ways to profit from dairy and food processing businesses.
State and federal agencies and Cornell University offer help for farms and agricultural businesses.
Please note: All of the following links leave DEC's website.
- New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) Agriculture page - information on NYSERDA's Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program, including technical support, financial incentives and funding opportunities. This applies to existing facilities, new construction, solar and wind power systems.
- NYSERDA's Agricultural Food Waste Management page - information on the assistance available from NYSERDA for manure management and biogas production.
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) - information on USDA grants for farmers to test new ideas with field trials, farm demonstrations, marketing programs or other techniques. SARE grants are also available to farm service providers, communities and other organizations participating in agricultural sustainability efforts.
- USEPA's AgSTAR Program - information on reducing methane emissions from livestock waste by recovering and burning biogas. Use the "tools" tab on the AgSTAR website to access funding opportunities.
- Cornell Dairy Environmental Systems Program - information and program tools to help dairy farmers and their advisors reduce the impact of dairy farming on the environment. Renewable energy (manure-based anaerobic digestion to produce biogas) is a key focus, including information on available funding opportunities.
- Cornell Waste Management Institute (CWMI) - information on composting a broad range of organic waste.