EAST LANSING, May 10, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $74,277 matching grant to Michigan State University’s Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center to conduct on-farm research and demonstrate soil health conservation practices.
The funding was made available through the Conservation Innovation Grant program administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Over a two-year period, the UP Extension Center will establish demonstration plots on row crop-dairy, and pastured beef operations. Soil health practices implemented on the test plots will include conservation tillage, cover crops and a conservation crop rotation. MSU researchers will conduct field days for farmers to observe the demonstration plots first-hand and will also provide presentations and publications on their findings.
The goal of the project is to encourage Upper Peninsula farmers to incorporate soil health conservation practices on their farming operations. These conservation practices have been shown to improve soil quality and productivity while also reducing soil erosion and improving water quality on a variety of farming systems. Practices including conservation tillage, cover crops and conservation crop rotation are eligible for financial assistance through USDA conservation programs.
Conservation Innovation Grant projects are intended to inspire creative problem-solving that boosts production on farms, ranches, and private forests, ultimately, they improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat. Public, non-profit and for-profit entities are eligible to participate in the Conservation Innovation Grant program. For more information visit the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website or a local USDA Service Center.