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Farm bill opens conservation funds to Delaware farmers

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U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons today ensured that an amendment giving Delaware farmers better access to agricultural conservation programs was included in the 2018 Farm Bill that is being considered by the Senate this week.

The amendment would allow farmers in the beginning stages of farming to apply for conservation funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This program helps agricultural producers improve operations on their farms – all while conserving natural resources like soil, water and air.

In the past, Delaware poultry farmers have been prevented from qualifying for conservation improvements, such as manure storage or composting facilities, until a resource concern is raised or until after birds have been placed on the farm.

“This amendment is a true win-win for the First State,” said Carper, who serves as the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. “This amendment allows Delaware poultry farmers better access to important funds that improve agricultural operations, while helping to protect the water we drink, the land we share and the wildlife that graces our state. It is important that we continuing working to find smart solutions like this to provide much-needed certainty to Delaware farmers who help to drive our economy as well as the tools necessary to help safeguard our natural resources.”

“I am pleased that the Senate has produced a bipartisan Farm Bill that includes a provision to support Delaware’s poultry farmers,” said Coons. “Senator Carper and I worked to ensure that our farmers who are just starting out will be able to build the facilities they need to farm productively and sustainably from the start. I am hopeful that the Senate will advance a strong Farm Bill this week that maintains this provision and other important programs that support Delaware’s families, farmers, and our environment.”

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