Program Description:

The intent of this practice is to prevent manure and sediment runoff from entering watercourses and sensitive karst areas to capture a portion of the manure as a resource for other uses such as crop fertilizer. This is accomplished by dividing the area into lots.The cattle are rotated from lot to lot as is necessary to maintain a vegetative cover. One lot is designated as a sacrifice area for use in periods of wet weather.

Unimproved loafing lots that are used for herd exercise and loafing are usually denuded of vegetation and harbor undesirable plants. A management plan and practice design is to be developed with consultation from a qualified consultant, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service and/or Soil and Water Conservation District. Cost-Share is authorized for watering facilities.

Landowner Eligibility:

All individuals and business entities operating agricultural land within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Virginia are eligible to participate in the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program. Applicants shall self certify that they meet the above criteria. Soil & Water Conservation Districts may request that applicants provide proof of agricultural production. To be considered an agricultural producer there must be an annual minimum of $1,000 of agricultural products being produced, sold or both from the applicant's agricultural land (non-industrial private forest lands are exempt from the $1,000 requirement).

Land Eligibility:

  1. A minimum of three grassed loafing paddocks are required.
  2. A sacrifice area is required unless adequate housing facilities are available.
  3. Each grassed paddock will be sized based on soil type, topography and herd size.
  4. All live streams must be fenced from use in the paddocks and sacrifice area.
  5. Concrete walkway(s) with curbing or other hardened walkway(s) (crusher run is not an acceptable surface material) may be installed to facilitate herd movement from the barn to the loafing lots.
  6. Critical eroding and sensitive areas will be fenced out.

Contract Length:

The loafing system must remain in place and operated for a period of ten years.

Cost-Share/Payment Information:

The state cost-share payment, alone or if combined with any other cost-share payment, will not exceed 75% of the total eligible cost. The maximum state
payment is $50,000 per year for the construction of a system to manage concentrated livestock traffic.

The tax credit rate is 25% of the total eligible cost not to
exceed $17,500.00. If a cooperator receives cost-share, only the percent of the total cost of the project that the cooperator contributed is used to determine the tax credit. This practice is eligible for a loan from the Virginia Water Facilities Revolving Fund administered by the Department of Environmental Quality.

Legacy Program Information:

Applicants may reapply for this program after its lifespan has terminated.

Signup Information

Sign-up happens on a continuous basis.

Additional Resources

Find out more about Virginia's Soil and Water Conservation Districts