SWFWMD Opportunities for Growers

Here are some opportunities from SWFWMD to fund projects that will reduce water.  These are great projects that will help to deliver water and nutrients in an effiecient and effective manner to help you save your natural and monetary resources.

Available for all Counties within the Southwest Florida Water Management District
75% Reimbursement up to a Maximum of $5,000
Items Eligible for Cost Share
Soil Moisture Probes/Tensiometers
Soil/Tissue Testing to Determine Fertilizer Recommendations
Water Table Observation Wells
Weather Station w/ET measurement
Data Logger/Telemetry Unit/Power Sources/Software
Culverts w/Riser Board Structures
EC/Salinity Measuring Devices or Equivalent Technologies
Surface Water Irrigation Pumps, Controls, Filtration, Infrastructure
Groundwater Irrigation Controls, Filtration, Infrastructure
Totalizing Flow Meters for Systems Not Required to Meter by WMD
Closed-Pipeline Water Delivery/Tailwater Recovery
Water Quality Test Kit
Petiole Sap Test
Soil pH Testing Kit
Permanent Fertigation Facility
Wetland Exclusion Fencing/Temporary Fencing for Denuded Areas
Other Approved Water Quality Improvement Projects
Other Approved Water Conservation Projects

Also there is funding for weather stations.  Some restrictions apply...
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has established a cost-share program to help producers enrolled in FDACS BMPs purchase on-site weather stations and temperature sensors. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Producers who own operations with less than 300 acres of production land may apply for one station and up to five temperature sensors for each operation. Producers who own larger operations may apply for one station and up to five temperature sensors for each 300 acres of production land on the operation(s). FDACS will provide 75 percent of the cost up to a $25,000 maximum per producer, with a $5,000 cap per station/sensors set.
The stations will be installed by a company that agrees to meet the approved specifications, at the on-site location(s) the farmer designates.  These weather stations will collect real-time information throughout the year on rainfall, air temperature, relative humidity, dew point, wind speed, and wind direction. The information will be accessible to producers on their smartphones and computers, through a University of Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) website. 
Why purchase a weather station?  The use of weather stations helps producers:

• Better determine when to delay irrigation after rainfall and when to irrigate during frost/freeze events, which can reduce water use and save costs on pump operation.

• Better determine when to use fungicide or pesticide sprays or foliar fertilizer applications, which can avoid waste and save related costs.

• Enhance the potential for reducing the pumping of surface and ground water and the runoff and leaching of fertilizers and other farm chemicals into water resources.

For more information on these cost-share programs, and assistance with applying, please contact:
FDACS Jessica Stempien (813) 985-7481

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