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News Release

Lake Mendota Farms Eligible for USDA Healthy Watershed Initiative

Contacts: Adam Dowling, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service  608-224-3730
                Pat Sutter, Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, 608-224-3740

 

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Madison, Wis–– The Sixmile Creek Watershed in Dane County is currently the focus of an intense agricultural conservation effort to reduce nutrients feeding into Lake Mendota. This is the third year of a  project between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Dane County.

The Dane County Land and Water Resources Department applied for special funding through the USDA Upper Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative. This year, $350,000 is anticipated to help fund farmland conservation practices to reduce nutrients and sediment flowing to Lake Mendota and the Upper Mississippi Basin. To date, over $1.2 milllion in financial assistance has been provided through this initiative in Dane County to implement farm conservation practices aimed at nutrient reduction to the lake.

According to Adam Dowling, District Conservationist for NRCS in Dane County, “This Upper Mississippi Healthy Watershed project is helping farmers voluntarily implement conservation and management practices that reduce nutrient runoff from agricultural land. We are working with the farmers to monitor results and assess which practices are most effective in this landscape.”

Farmers located within the Sixmile Creek Watershed may apply for cost-sharing through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Eligible conservation practices include nutrient management planning, grass waterways, buffer strips, crop residue management and other practices that trap sediment and reduce nutrient runoff.

Farmers must complete applications byDecember 20 for consideration for 2014 funding.

For more information, visit www.wi.nrcs.usda.gov , or contact Dane County Land and Water Resources Department at 608-224-3730.