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USDA Announces Initiative to Address Michigan Resource Concerns

Field planted with a cover crop mix.

Michigan farmers in designated regions have until Dec. 16, 2022, to submit applications for Conservation Incentives Contracts.

EAST LANSING, Nov. 18, 2022 – Michigan farmers and private forest owners are invited to submit applications for a funding initiative that addresses water and wildlife resources. Producers may submit applications by Dec. 16, 2022 to be considered for selection.

Funding will be provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through Conservation Incentives Contracts. The contracts provide conservation financial assistance for implementing conservation practices targeted to regional conservation concerns. In addition, producers can receive annual payments for ongoing management practices that benefit water quality, water quantity, and wildlife for up to five years. The current Conservation Incentives Contracts funding is available to farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin and Saginaw Bay watersheds for addressing water quality, in the St. Joseph Watershed for practices that conserve water quantity, and in the Upper Peninsula for practices that improve wildlife habitat.

Successful applicants will enter into contracts to implement conservation practices for a pre-determined amount of financial assistance. Conservation practices eligible for financial assistance must address the designated resource concern where the farming or forest operation is located. Payments for management practices will be made after October first of each year and payments for the contracted vegetative or structural practices are provided after the conservation practice is implemented.  Some producers may be eligible for advance payments.

Conservation Incentives Contracts are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Interested producers can contact their local USDA Service Center for more information. Applications may be submitted at USDA Service Centers or online using the portal.