Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

NRCS offers programs to landowners and agricultural producers to provide financial and technical assistance to help manage natural resources in a sustainable manner.  Through these programs the agency approves contracts to provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns or opportunities to help save energy, improve soil, water, plant, air, animal and related resources on agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land.

Farm Bill programs are voluntary; they provide opportunities for both land owners and operators. Conservation technical Assistance is offered year-round and is free of charge. Financial Assistance programs are also offered, and applications are accepted throughout the year. With help of local NRCS staff and local conservation district, applications are submitted, ranked, pooled, and selected for funding. All of our programs are voluntary and we are happy to talk through any questions and concerns you may have.

The Farm Bill Programs offered by the NRCS at the Clinton Conservation District are:

1. Environmental Quality Incentive Program, EQIP provides technical, educational, and financial assistance to eligible farmers and landowners to address soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on their lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. Cost-share is available for applicants who were selected for funding. For more info, click here.
2. Conservation Stewardship Program, CSP is a voluntary conservation program and has a unique role among USDA programs. It identifies and rewards those farmers and ranchers who meet the highest standards of conservation and environmental management on their operations sign-up. For more information, click here.
3. Wetland Reserve Program, WRP is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. For more information, click here.
4. Conservation Reserve Program, CRP reduces soil erosion, protects the Nation’s ability to produce food and fiber, reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality, establishes wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources. For more information, click here

Initiatives in Michigan

There are special initiatives available to the landowners and farmers of Clinton County through the EQIP Program. These initiatives address priority resource concerns within the area. If you qualify, special financial assistance may be available to you!

The National Water Quality Initiative or NWQI is a nationwide initiative that provides a special pool of funding to targeted areas. Clinton County is part of the larger movement focusing on three streams in the Maple River Watershed . NWQI supports practices that promote soil health, reduce erosion and lessen nutrient runoff, such as filter strips, cover crops, reduced tillage and manure management. These practices not only benefit natural resources but enhance agricultural productivity and profitability by improving soil health and optimizing the use of agricultural inputs.

The Honey Bee Initiative targets Michigan as well as other Midwestern states to help improve pollinator health. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide close to $4 million in technical and financial assistance for interested farmers and ranchers to help improve the health of bees, which play an important role in crop production.
To learn more about EQIP initiative in Michigan, click here.

New Local Funding Coming Soon!

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and NRCS, along with the MSU Institute of Water Research will be launching a project in Spring 2019 that focuses on improving fish habitat and water quality in the Maple River Watershed. Producers will be able to apply for cost-share funding for certain practices, including:
1. Irrigation water management and irrigation systems
2. Drainage water management and water control structures
3. No till or reduced till
4. Cover crops
5. Filter strips

More information to come! Stop by or call the office to  see if your land may qualify and fill out an application to get started!

Filling out an application is easy, click here to see how to take the first steps on getting financial assistance.

For more information about our programs, special funding, or filling out an application, contact our office by phone or stop in and chat with staff who are happy to assist you. We offer free, no pressure site visits to determine what resource concerns your operation may have and options for solutions.