In order to maintain eligibility for most USDA programs, producers must comply with the Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions, agreeing they will not:
- Produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land without an adequate conservation system;
- Plant an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland;
- Convert a wetland to make possible the production of an agricultural commodity.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service is responsible for providing program participants technical assistance and determinations to assist them in complying with the provisions.
HELC/WC Technical Resources
Given the geographical differences of wetlands, soils, and climate in each State; information and technical resources specific to Michigan implementation of the HELC/WC provisions are provided below:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Michigan does not develop Wetland Mitigation Plans (WMP) for landowners. Landowners in need of a WMP have a choice of either developing their own plan or hiring a consultant to develop one for them. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality maintains a list of wetland consultants that is posted online at the link below.
Michigan Wetland Mitigation Banks
Producers can buy credits from wetland mitigation banks to compensate for the impact of lost wetlands and to maintain or restore USDA wetland compliance.
Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Compliance for Crop Insurance Participants
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) applies conservation compliance to Federal crop insurance premium subsidy eligibility requirements. Conservation compliance provisions are designed to reduce soil loss on erosion-prone lands and to protect wetlands for the multiple benefits they provide.
Becky Otto - Michigan Conservation Compliance Coordinator
Phone: (517) 324-5257