Ecological and Economic Benefits of Resource Conservation on Horse Farms

Grants and Contracts Details

Description

Resource conservation on horse farms has lagged behind other agricultural commodities for decades, in part because of a perceived conflict between the needs of the horse owner and the standard practices used in resource conservation. In 2016, the UK Forage Extension Program was awarded a Regional Conservation Partnership Program grant to implement cost share on equine operations in the state of Kentucky with the goal of reducing overgrazing and soil degradation. This program demonstrated that proven resource conservation techniques are applicable to equine operations and provided training to NRCS staff to help horse owners to implement these practices on farms. For the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) National competition in FY 2019, the UK Forage Extension Program plans to monitor the ecological and economic effects of resource conservation on the equine operations that participated in the 2016 State RCPP program. We will measure multiple indicators of soil and pasture health and productivity on farms where rotational grazing, toxic tall fescue remediation and other practices were implemented. In addition, we will be quantifying the financial impacts of these practices. These impacts may include reduced fertilizer, feed, and labor costs as well as savings related to improvements in horse health. To demonstrate the transferability of these practices to other areas, we will be partnering with Virginia Tech to establish practices and monitor improvements on Virginia farms. All data will be compiled into online and print educational materials that demonstrate the ecological and financial benefits of resource conservation on equine operations.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date6/1/202/27/23

Funding

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: $361,674.00

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