The Vermont Pay for Phosphorus Program (VPFP) is an innovative new outcomes-based program from the Water Quality division of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM). This program will provide performance-based payments to Vermont farmers for reductions in phosphorus (P) losses from their agricultural fields.
Reductions represent improvements in farm management from the management assumed in the Lake Champlain Basin Total Maximum Daily Load (LCB TMDL). Enrolled farms will receive payment for annual net reductions from these historic base loading assumptions, above a threshold set by the program.
Most current payment programs pay cost-share for practices. The VPFP is unique because it pays for the outcomes of those practices: it recognizes that the conservation of soil and water generates value to the public and directly compensates farms for that value. In this approach, farmers have the flexibility to implement whichever conservation practices they know will work for their own operations each year.
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