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DNR announces free Conservation Reserve Program enrollment workshops this Tuesday

yellow and white wildflowers cover prairie land, with white farm buildings sitting way in the backgroundThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources is encouraging agricultural producers to consider enrolling eligible land into the Conservation Reserve Program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Two free virtual workshops planned for Tuesday, Feb. 22, will provide more background.

The USDA recently announced the opening of a general CRP enrollment to run from Jan. 31 to March 11, and the Grassland CRP signup to run from April 4 to May 13. Both programs are competitive and provide annual rental payments and cost-share to establish conservation cover such as grassland or trees. CRP is the largest voluntary private-lands conservation program in the United States.  

"The Conservation Reserve Program in Michigan has played a significant role in providing needed habitat for popular game species such as ring-necked pheasants, as well as numerous nongame species like the monarch butterfly, grassland songbirds and important pollinating insects. CRP also protects our water and soil quality," said Mike Parker, DNR private lands specialist.  

Landowners interested in learning more about CRP can review CRP fact sheets and other resources or contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency office. Due to the pandemic, most USDA staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email and other digital tools.?Contact your local USDA service centers?for questions or to schedule an appointment.  

Free information workshops Tuesday

As part of the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, Michigan's Farm Bill biologists will host two free virtual workshops at 3:30 and 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, for landowners interested in learning more about the Conservation Reserve Program.  

To register, contact Alyssa Winters at 810-648-2998, ext. 5 and indicate whether you plan to attend the afternoon or evening session. The same information will be presented at both sessions, with plenty of time for participants to ask questions.  

For more information contact your local Farm Bill biologist 

  • Blue Water Conservation District (Sanilac, St. Clair, Lapeer counties) - Alyssa Winters, phone: 810-648-2998, ext. 5. 
  • Gratiot Conservation District (Gratiot, Clinton, Saginaw counties) - Kurt Wolf, phone: 989-875-3900, ext. 3002. 
  • Lenawee Conservation District (Lenawee, Hillsdale, Monroe counties) - Laura Judge, phone: 517-263-7400, ext. 119. 
  • Tuscola Conservation District (Tuscola and Huron counties) - Barry Weldon, phone: 989-673-8174, ext. 107.
Contact: Mike Parker, 517-898-3293