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Funding Available for Western Lake Erie Basin Agricultural Producers and Landowners to Implement Conservation Practices

Applications due December 2nd

LANSING—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced funding is available through the Tri-State Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) for agricultural producers and landowners interested in implementing conservation practices in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). Applications are due on December 2, 2022. Application information is available online at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov.

This funding is part of an effort between the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), USDA-NRCS, and more than 30 partners in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio being led by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. The project will help participating farmers improve soil health, reduce phosphorus and sediment loading, and prevent harmful algal blooms in the WLEB. The program aims to work towards a 40 percent reduction of phosphorus by using a suite of conservation practices. 

"In Michigan, we are defined by our Great Lakes. We must all unite to protect these precious resources for future generations and our state's economy. This project is an example of the commitment from public, private, and non-profit organizations to address the nutrient loading issue in the Western Lake Erie Basin," said MDARD Director Gary McDowell." This is one of many opportunities available to farmers in the area to get technical and financial assistance to develop specific conservation plans and help with conservation practice adoption. These steps will help reduce nutrient loss and minimize future harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie."

The Michigan funding will prioritize practice implementation in the Lime Creek, Niles Ditch, Stony Creek, LaPointe Drain, Covell Drain, and Silver Creek sub-watersheds within the WLEB. However, all agricultural lands within Michigan’s portion of the WLEB are eligible to apply. Eligible practices include but are not limited to nutrient management, waste storage structures, drainage water management, and more.

Applications are taken on a year-round basis; however, interested Michigan producers and landowners should apply by December 2 for the current funding cycle. NRCS provides a higher level of financial assistance for beginning farmers and historically underserved producers. More information about RCPP and how to apply can be found at your local NRCS office or online at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov.

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Related Links: USDA Conservation Funds Available for Western Lake Erie Basin