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Farmland in the Hudson Valley. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/jms2/3599304300/">June Marie</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Farmland in the Hudson Valley. Photo: June Marie, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY makes $20.5M available to keep farmland

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York officials say they are making $20.5 million available to help maintain farmland and prevent its conversion to non-agricultural uses.

Municipalities, conservation districts, nonprofits and land trusts can apply for the grants from the state's Environmental Protection Fund. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the funding will help ensure farms are kept in production.

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Ned Sullivan, president of Scenic Hudson, praised Cuomo for jump-starting the program which will protect land in the Hudson Valley as the real estate market is heating up.

The funding can be used for permanent conservation easements or for incentive payments.

The Department of Agriculture and Markets has application material on its website.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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