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News Release

Funding Available to Minnesota Producers through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative

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Date: April 25, 2012

Julie MacSwain, State Public Affairs Specialist, (651) 602-7859

ST PAUL, MN,  April 25, 2012 -  Through a special water quality initiative, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering increased financial assistance rates for key practices such as cover crops, nutrient management, grade stabilization structures and waste storage facilities in areas within the Mississippi River Basin. Minnesota is one of 12 states participating in the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI).

Through this new initiative, NRCS and its partners will help producers in selected watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control, and trap nutrient runoff; improve wildlife habitat; and maintain agricultural productivity. Applications for MRBI are due June 1 in Minnesota NRCS field offices.

The following Watersheds in Minnesota are eligible for MRBI: Accelerated Protection and Restoration (Sauk River Watershed); Little Cottonwood River (Middle Minnesota River Watershed);Watson Creek Watershed Initiative (Root River Watershed); Rush-Pine Creek Watershed Initiative (Root River Watershed); Upper South Fork Root River Watershed Initiative (Root River Watershed); Green Valley/Austin Watershed Initiative (Upper Cedar River Watershed); and Redwood County-Middle Minnesota Watershed Initiative (Middle Minnesota).  Interested farmers should contact their local USDA NRCS office for more information.

“Through these contracts, producers will be able to implement a system of several conservation practices that will control soil erosion, improve soil quality, and improve wildlife habitat,” said Don Baloun, Minnesota State Conservationist. “The application of conservation practices will make positive impacts further downstream, throughout the Mississippi River basin.

MRBI is offered in the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indian, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Partner organizations participating in the initiative will contribute additional financial resources.


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