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Low-interest loans — perhaps even interest free with the possibility of partial payment of the principal by the federal government — might be obtainable through a program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund was established to finance water-quality improvement projects. No-tilling can qualify for funding because the practice prevents soil erosion and thus helps maintain water quality. Michelle Tucker, coordinator of the CWSRF, says the program provides funding “with very few strings attached.”
One string is that the loans are not granted to individuals. The money is channeled through state governments to public or quasi-public agencies, which then have authority to lend the funds to no-tillers. Such agencies may include county governments, conservation or irrigation districts, and others with taxing powers.
Each state establishes its own eligibility criteria. Alaska and several states in the Pacific Northwest already have programs in place. Inquiries about the program in your state should be directed to the EPA.
The patent dispute, which dates back to 1996, initially involved Monsanto and Mycogen Seeds, which has since become a part of Dow Chemical. The…