Peterson announces funding for conservation

May 6, 2008 Issues: Energy

(WASHINGTON, DC ) – Congressman Collin Peterson today announced that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) has approved $12,913,560 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 voluntary, incentive-based conservation 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.

613 contracts were approved with an average EQIP cost of $21,000 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, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Roseau, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine.

“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 protect the environment in rural communities," Peterson said.