RAP Details

RAP pass in Montpelier

On Thursday November 17, 2016 the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, “LCAR”, met for the third time to discuss the Required Agricultural Practices Rules (“RAPs”) submitted by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. LCAR had also previously discussed and taken testimony on the proposed rules on October 20th, and November 3rd . On this final day of discussion they also agreed unanimously to send a letter with attachments to the committees of jurisdiction outlining residual concerns they have about enforcement, funding and definitions.

Vermont Farm Bureau President, Joseph Tisbert, was present at all three meetings and testified on behalf of Vermont Farm Bureau members. He testified that a state funding mechanism should be in place before the rules were finalized, because compliance may cause economic hardship for some farmers.

Members of LCAR spoke highly of Vermont farmers willingness to improve the water quality of Lake Champlain. Everyone was thanked for their hard work in getting the rules done as it has been an ongoing process over the last several years. Participants were also thanked for their testimony to ensure that the rules were fair to all and comprehensible.

After the rules being finalized, Tisbert said “It is now time for farmers to work together toward understanding the rules fully and learning how to apply them to their farming practices. Vermont Farm Bureau will work hard to ensure its members apply for and obtain funding. We intend to work with the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Phil Scott and the legislature, to ensure that the rules are clear, and easy to follow. Farmers should bring any implementation issues of the RAP’s to the Vermont Farm Bureau Office, so our Lobbyist, Jackie Folsom, and I can bring them immediately to our legislatures attention.”

Technical and Financial Resources
There is a range of resources for farmers around RAP implementation and compliance in the form of both technical and financial assistance.

 Important Dates for the RAPs

Custom Manure & Ag Waste Applicator Certification 

January 31

Custom Applicators are required to renew their annual certification and pay an annual fee by January 31 of each year. Exams are required every 5 years. Applicators who are seeking certification should contact the VAAFM.

CSFO Annual Certification

January 31

Farming operations that meet the threshold of a Certified Small Farm will be required to self-certify their operation with the Agency of Agriculture annually by January 31.

LFO Annual Reporting and Fee

February 15

Farming operations within the threshold of a Large Farm must submit their annual compliance report and operating fee before February 15 of each year.

MFO Annual Reporting and Fee

April 30

Farming operations within the threshold of a Medium Farm must submit their annual compliance report and operating fee by April 30 of each year.

Cover Cropping of Floodplains

October 1-15

Annually, fields need to be broadcast seeded by October 1, and drilled or otherwise incorporated by October 15.

Extended Winter Spreading Ban on Floodplains

October 16-April 14

The extended winter manure spreading ban for frequently flooded areas of annual crop fields will take place from October to April beginning October 16.

Winter Manure Spreading Ban

December 15-April 1

This winter manure spreading ban has been in place since 1995 and prohibits spreading of manure or other agricultural wastes during the winter season. There are exemptions for emergency and non-emergency situations, call (802) 828-2431.