$1.5 million Capital Equipment Assistance Program open for applications

ESCH 5612 No-Till Grain Drill for cover cropping purchased by CEAP 2022 grant recipient Vosburg Farms in St. Albans, VT. (Photo: Mark Vosburg)

$1.5 million available to support purchase of new or innovative equipment to reduce environmental impacts

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has announced that up to $1,500,000 is now available in funding for the Capital Equipment Assistance Program (CEAP). Thanks to additional federal funding, this is one of the largest amount of CEAP funds ever made available in a single funding opportunity. CEAP funding supports the purchase of new or innovative equipment that will be used on farms to aid in the reduction of surface runoff of agricultural wastes, improve water quality of state waters, reduce odors from manure application, separate phosphorus from manure, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce costs to farmers.

Vermont farms have an opportunity to enact lasting improvements in our environment through increasing and adopting practices such as improved feed management, nutrient management, cover cropping, and no till planting. These conservation practices not only improve water quality but can also increase yield, decrease input costs, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, enhance agricultural soils’ ability to sequester and store carbon, and increase soil health and soil biodiversity. However, the cost of the specialized equipment needed to install these practices can be a barrier for farms. CEAP can assist farmers with up to 90% of the cost of eligible equipment and help make these technology-driven improvements feasible.

Normand Thibaut of Colchester, Vermont received CEAP funds to support the purchase of a no-till grain drill in 2020 and has been using it for several seasons. “With a (no till grain) drill, I am getting a better cover crop stand, and I don’t have to till up my hay fields for reseeding. I am really impressed with it,” Normand Thibault remarked. “I recommend using a drill to reseed a hay field, you will be really happy with it.”

Custom operators, nonprofit organizations, phosphorus extraction equipment providers and Vermont farms are encouraged to apply now to the Capital Equipment Assistance Program.

Grant applications must be postmarked by November 1, 2022. Applicants will be notified of grant awards by February 1, 2023.

“Capital investments in innovative equipment are tough to make on many farms especially during the current uncertain economic situation,” said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, "We are grateful to provide this opportunity to continue supporting our farmers to innovate and maintain the momentum forward for water quality.”

To apply online, review eligible equipment categories and funding rates, or find additional information visit agriculture.vermont.gov/ceap, call the Agency at (802) 828-2431 or email [email protected].

October 7, 2022 | Montpelier VT - Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets