Conservation Funding Available, $11.8 Million available in the thirty-three Western MN Counties

Apr 11, 2007

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Congressman Collin Peterson today announced that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) has approved $11,880,641 of federal funds to various agricultural producers in Minnesota’s Seventh District through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

“This is a great example of how the voluntary, incentive-based conservation provisions of the 2002 Federal Farm Bill can positively impact the conservation needs of our farmers, while protecting our environment. With this funding comes greater producer flexibility and allows the EQIP program to reach more of our producers,” said Peterson.

EQIP funds may be used to install conservation practices that, when implemented, will correct agricultural natural resource concerns. Traditional conservation practices in Western Minnesota such as terraces, diversions, agricultural waste storage systems, field and farmstead tree plantings, livestock fencing, livestock water development and many others are eligible. In addition, incentive payments are available to encourage producers to implement nutrient management, prescribed grazing, pest management, livestock and poultry waste utilization and other agricultural conservation management techniques.

914 EQIP contracts were approved with an average cost of $13,000 per contract in the counties of Becker, Beltrami, Big Stone, Chippewa, Clay, Clearwater, Douglas, Grant, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac qui Parle, Lake of the Woods, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, McLeod, Meeker, Norman, Pennington, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Roseau, Sibley, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, West Polk, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine for a total of $11,880,641. The total EQIP dollars approved across the state was $25.6 million.

“Our farmers are practicing conservationists and are basically matching federal EQIP funding dollar for dollar. Being such good stewards, it is important that they have the financial and technical assistance needed to maintain the profitability of their farming operations and at the same time protecting our environment and supporting sustainable rural communities, “Peterson said.