Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $21 million in funding to help dairy farms boost profitability and adopt waste-to-energy technology. The funding stems from recommendations made at Cuomo's 2012 Yogurt Summit. Cuomo also pledged to hold another Yogurt Summit.
Most of the funding targets incentives for dairy farm waste-to-energy technology through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Some $850,000 will go to the Dairy Acceleration Program jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Environmental Conservation. Those funds aim to help smaller dairy farms reduce the cost of business and environmental plans.
Waste-to-energy anaerobic digesters
NYSERDA is making $20 million available to install anaerobic digester technology to produce renewable biogas for electricity and heat from organic wastes, says John Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA. Farms, food processing manufacturers or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.
Currently, NYSERDA funding supports 20 operating digester projects. Digester technology funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible projects.
DAP help for smaller dairies
DAP already works with dairy farms, most with herds under 300 cows. Combined with funding still available under the current program, these extra funds will serve at least 100 more farms across the state.
DAP payments may cover:
* Up to $5,000 per farm to write a business plan or develop a combination of a business and facility growth plan;
* Up to $4,500 to update existing conservation systems known as Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans;
* Up to $6,000 to develop a new CNMP encompassing manure storage, handlig and application on land.
* Additional funds for designing farm practices described in CNMPs.
* Business planning may also be covered, including financial analysis, farmstead development planning, facility planning and capital investment planning for increased milk production per cow.
To be eligible for DAP, a dairy cattle farm must have complete financial records. Preference will be given to farms with under 300 cows. DAP funding will cover up to 80% of project costs.
Through DAP, farmers will be able to tap expertise of Cornell Cooperative Extension, PRO-DAIRY, certified Agricultural Environmental Management planners and other ag programs to grow their businesses, notes Tom Overton, Cornell University dairy management specialist and director of PRO-DAIRY.
To apply for DAP, visit http://ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/dairy_acceleration/.