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Application deadline: January 31, 2022

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.

$4.9 million are available for farms across 4 years. There are two types of payment available:

First-time enrollees, regardless of phosphorus reductions, are eligible for a one-time management planning and data entry payment of $15 for every acre of data entry successfully completed — up to a cap of $4,000.

Farms whose data has been entered can choose to be entered into a competitive pool for annual contracts for phosphorus reduction payments. These payments will compensate farms with $100 per pound of eligible phosphorus reductions per year, up to an annual cap of $50,000.


To be eligible for VPFP program, farms must:

  • Be a Farm as defined in the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs), operating within Vermont

  • Manage crop or hay land

  • Ensure that their farm business is registered with the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and that all managed land is mapped and in compliance with federal Highly Erodible Land and Wetland regulations. (How to register)

  • Have an up-to-date Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) that meets the RAPs for their farm size, including recent soil (and in most cases manure) tests.

If you are not registered with FSA or do not have soil or manure tests or an up-to-date Nutrient Management Plan that meets the RAPs for your farm size, you must work to obtain meet those requirements PRIOR to application. Your local Conservation District and/or FSA office can help you with this process.

Apply online:

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