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Whole Farm Approach

Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District is excited to announce our participation in a program that provides a comprehensive approach to conservation planning for farms in our district — the Whole Farm Approach (WFA) through the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Whether you have livestock, crops, nursery, or mixed operation, find out if the Whole Farm Approach is right for your agricultural enterprise.

The Whole Farm Approach is a voluntary conservation planning process that looks at the entire farm landscape as an interconnected system. Rather than addressing just one resource concern at a time, Whole Farm Approach considers the big picture. WFA was created to bundle all the practices a producer would implement even if they were not funded through VACS (Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share) due to low ranking, lack of funding, or not prioritized through secondary considerations. The Whole Farm Approach increases data provided to the Bay Model towards Agricultural nutrient reductions, showing the efforts of agricultural producers. 

The Whole Farm Approach may include best management practices such as:

  • Nutrient Management (WFA - NM)

  • Precision Application of Nutrients

  • Cover Crops (WFA - CC)

To be enrolled in the WFA for cover crops, a producer MUST also be signed up for the WFA for nutrient management; if there are acres not covered under the WFA-NM they would not be eligible for WFA-CC. WFA sign up is by tract as a minimum unit, fields cannot be split. For example, a producer could stack payments for having a nutrient management plan, implementing cover crops, in-furrow or banded phosphorus, side dressing nitrogen on corn, late kill down, incentives for mixed species, etc. 

Get Started Today! Our district has an agriculture team of four on staff who are ready to work with farm owners and operators in developing comprehensive conservation plans. Give us a call at the district office to learn more! (757) 645-4895 

Read more articles in the Summer 2024 CSWCD Newsletter.


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