Public-Private Partners Reaching out to Saginaw Bay-Area Farmers

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Public-Private Partners Reaching out to Saginaw Bay-Area Farmers

EAST LANSING, Sept. 30, 2015— A broad partnership, including The Nature Conservancy, the Michigan AgriBusiness Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wants to help farmers in the Saginaw Bay watershed improve water quality.

The Saginaw Bay Regional Conservation Partnership Program will make over $7.6 million in USDA financial assistance available to help farmers adapt new conservation practices. Private sector crop consultants and other partners will assist the effort by informing farmers about the resources available through the program. Farmers in designated watersheds can submit applications any time at their local USDA Service Center. Applications will be ranked and selected for funding near the end of each month beginning on Oct. 30, 2015, and continuing into next year.

“This is an exciting partnership that will have crop consultants and agricultural retailers actively promoting USDA conservation assistance to their customers. We hope this combined effort will reach more farmers and help address important resource concerns in the Saginaw Bay watershed,” said USDA State Conservationist Garry Lee.

The financial assistance , provided through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, will be used by farmers to implement conservation practices that will reduce the amount of sediment and phosphorus entering the Saginaw Bay. Some conservation practices eligible for financial assistance include cover crops, buffer strips, residue and tillage management, nutrient management plans and grassed waterways. The Saginaw Bay Partnership hopes to enroll 25,500 acres of farmland into conservation programs over the next five years.

Areas eligible for conservation financial assistance include the Cass, Kawkawlin, Pine-Chippewa, Pigeon, Pinnebog, Sebewaing and Shiawassee watersheds. Exact selection cut-off dates and a map of eligible watersheds will be posted on the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Michigan website at

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