Farmers in Virginia are subject to the Chesapeake Bay Program published nutrient trading principles and guidelines and Virginia trading legislation stipulates that only nonpoint source credits available for trading are those created by best management practices.
Some of those practices include Crop/Land Conversion – Reforestation and Stream Restoration.
Nutrient trading could be a source of new revenue and profit for many farms that meet the requirements, with the benefits likely varying among farms based on location, pre-existing implementation of best management practices (BMPs), and other factors. Restoration activities improve overall water quality and create improved habitats, increase biodiversity, and improve the overall health and beauty of a farm property.
Government funded nonpoint source practices are NOT eligible for trading, however the farmer can still reap the benefits of restoration activities and nutrient credit trading through a partnership with Potomac Mitigation Bank, LLC.