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MAEAP Newsletter July 2022

MAEAP Announces 2022 Outreach and Promotion Grant Recipients

LANSING— Today, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) announced the recipients of $13,500 in grants to implement MAEAP promotions across Michigan.

MAEAP is a voluntary program aimed at helping producers protect the environment by implementing conservation practices on their land. To take part, landowners work together with their local conservation district to identify steps they can take to prevent pollution.
The grants were awarded to 17 local conservation districts and partner organizations to promote and encourage participation in the program and educate those about the importance of MAEAP. The submitted projects were awarded competitively and reviewed by a joint evaluation committee. Eligible applicants included conservation districts and MAEAP partner organizations.

The following recipients of the 2022 MAEAP Communications Grant are listed below:

• Missaukee Conservation District – $750
• Ottawa Conservation District – $1,500
• Menominee Conservation District – $450
• Mecosta Conservation District – $1,500
• Mecosta and Montcalm County Farm Bureau – $750
• Gratiot Conservation District – $150
• Jackson Conservation District – $750
• Oceana Conservation District – $600
• Oakland Conservation District – $1,100
• Berrien County Conservation District – $750
• Osceola-Lake Conservation District – $750
• Michigan Christmas Tree Association – $300
• Hillsdale Conservation District – $750
• Branch Conservation District – $600
• Clinton County Farm Bureau – $1,300
• Huron Conservation District – $750
• Muskegon Conservation District – $750
To learn more about MAEAP, visit

Storing Bulk Fertilizer On-Farm

By: Jarrod Fletcher, Fertilizer and Bulk Agrichemical Storage Specialist

As fertilizer prices continue to surge, many farmers are considering storing bulk fertilizer on-farm. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Bulk Storage Program provides a statewide standard for storing and handling liquid fertilizer on the farm with similar rules already in place for commercial facilities for more than 20 years. Uniform standards for both the commercial and private sectors of agriculture ensure safe storage while protecting surface and groundwater, along with safe product storage.

A farm is required to store primary tanks in secondary containment and utilize an operational mix/load pad when loading and unloading fertilizers, if the following triggers are met:

  • > 2,500 gallons individual quantity OR
  • > 7,500 gallons combined total OR
    • Note: Mobile containers storing fertilizer on site for more than 30 days count towards the >7,500 gallons combined.

Farms meeting these triggers must have:

  • Secondary containment designed to hold any discharged liquid and weight load of material. Containment dike materials must be reinforced concrete, precast concrete modules, steel, or earthen berm. Liner materials must be watertight and can be synthetic liners (minimum 30 milliliters hick), clay (minimum 6 inches thick), concrete, or steel.
    • If protected from rainfall, secondary containment must be 110 percent larger than the tank’s volume, plus the displacement volume of other tanks below the dike wall.
    • If not protected from rainfall, secondary containment must be 110 percent larger than the tank’s volume, plus the volume of 6 inches of rainfall.
    • Tanks must be kept locked and secured when not in use, with closed valves on empty tanks.
    • Appurtenances (valves, gauges, pumps, hoses, plumbing, etc.) must be within the containment area and above ground, supported to prevent sagging and damage, and kept secured when not in use.
    • Labeled as fertilizer with a minimum 4-inch lettering.
  • Containment area accumulated liquid removed by a manually activated pump.
    • Liquids with fertilizer may be applied at agronomic rates to sites where fertilizer can still be utilized as intended.
    • Liquids without fertilizer may be discharged as surface runoff, but not directly into surface water waterways, storm drains, or field tiles.
  • Operational pad allowing supervised loading and unloading.
    • Concrete or portable pad holding at least 750 gallons.
    • Minimum 10 feet by 20 feet size dimensions.
    • Closed containment system, including dry couplers, hoses under manufacturer warranty, anti-overflow devices, and 150-gallon container under point of transfer.
  • Discharge Response Plan containing MDARD’s spill hotline (1-800-405-0101), emergency contact numbers, product list, and site plan depicting all structures and nearby water sources.

In the event of a tank or valve failure, the cost of containment can pay for itself. Proper containment can enable farmers to recover spilt fertilizer, prevent environmental contamination, and avoid the expensive clean-up costs associated with losing thousands of gallons of liquid fertilizer.

For additional information about the proper set up of on-farm bulk storage, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service or your local conservation district at To learn more about Michigan’s on-farm-bulk storage regulations, visit

Technician Spotlight: Samantha Wolfe

Samantha Wolfe is the technician for Grand Traverse County. Recently she was featured in Northern Michigan Woman magazine. To read the full story, visit

Verifier Spotlight: Shelby Burlew


Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Genesee, Oakland, Hillsdale, Jackson, Lapeer, Macomb, Lenawee, Livingston, Shiawassee, Monroe, Wayne, and Washtenaw counties

What do you do as a MAEAP verifier?

I listen to farmers and answer any questions they might have about their farm. They put a lot of time and effort into pursuing verifications. I am excited to be out on their farms and learn about their successes and challenges.

How do you help farmers?

I want producers to know they are doing an excellent job in taking care of the land. If they need help in making improvements on their operation, they have an excellent resource with their MAEAP technician and me.

Why do you enjoy your job?

I get to recognize farms that are protecting their land resources and the environment.


I grew up in Branch County where I was very active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America. I received my Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Michigan State University (MSU). I then went on to pursue my Master of Science in Agricultural Sciences, with a specialization in Integrated Resource Management, from Colorado State University. I enjoy spending time with my husband, Nate, and young daughter Carylin Rose. I also enjoy trips to the family cabin, gardening, and being on the lakes back home.

Fun Fact:

I spent a summer during my time at MSU interning at the Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, which is one of the top racing Quarter Horse breeding operations in the U.S.