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News Release

USDA Conservation Funds Available for St. Joseph River Watershed

EAST LANSING, March 30, 2017— Michigan farmers in the St. Joseph River watershed have until May 18, 2018, to submit applications for the current round of conservation financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Applications for financial assistance through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program should be submitted to local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offices. Financial assistance is available for implementing new conservation practices that optimize ground water use and improve water quality. The portion of the St. Joseph River watershed in Michigan includes Branch, Cass and St. Joseph counties and portions of Berrien, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

USDA conservation financial assistance must be used for implementing designated conservation practices, some of these include; cover crops, nutrient management plans, grassed waterways, irrigation water management, prescribed grazing, filter strips, stream habitat improvement and residue management. Farmers are encouraged to begin the application process as soon as possible.

The Michigan/Indiana St. Joseph River Watershed Conservation Partnership Program was selected for funding through the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The partnership includes a number of partner organizations, including American Indian tribes, and is led by USDA-NRCS and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Partner organizations will assist in promoting conservation to landowners and monitoring the impact of conservation practices implemented through the program.

For more information about conservation financial assistance available through the Michigan/Indiana St. Joseph River Watershed Conservation Partnership Program, visit the NRCS Michigan website at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov.