Dane County Land and Water Resources Department: Dane County announces over $4 million available for cost-share assistance to farmers for conservation practices

MADISON – May 4, 2022 –  For 2022, Dane County has local, state, and federal funding totaling more than $4 million available for cost-share assistance to be used for conservation practices addressing water quality and soil health for rural landowners and farmers throughout the county.  This funding includes the popular Continuous Cover Program which supports landowners converting traditional row-cropped fields to more permanent vegetation and native prairies. Since its inception in 2019, 93 landowners have participated in the program and converted over 1,400 acres to cool season grasses, managed grazing pastures, and native prairie habitat. Benefits of the program range from preventing soil erosion, reducing nutrient runoff, improving soil health, expanding pollinator habitat, increasing water infiltration, and sequestering carbon. New for 2022 is Dane County’s Soil Health Equipment Program, which assists farmers with purchasing farm equipment to implement soil health practices such as no-till, cover crops, and planting green in order to prevent soil erosion, improve soil biota, increase water infiltration, and reduce nutrient runoff. The program will cover expenses at a rate of 70% up to $30,000. In addition, 2022 kicks off a five-year, $1.8 million healthy soils project funded through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). These funds will be used to support conservation practices that help farmers improve soil health and reduce nutrient runoff such as cover crops, no-till, managed grazing, and residue management. The first round of applications are due May 20, 2022. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. “We are excited to continue to support a wide variety of existing, new, and innovative programming for our rural landowners and farmers,” says County Executive Joe Parisi, “Improving soil health, reducing nutrient runoff, increasing infiltration, and sequestering carbon are important factors to building a strong, healthy, and vibrant community here in Dane County.” Information about these programs is available on the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department website at: https://lwrd.countyofdane.com/More Information: landowners or farmers who are interested in more information can contact the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department at (608) 224-3730 or [email protected]. Please include the township the land is located in with requests for information.
About Dane County Land & Water Resources DepartmentThe Dane County Land & Water Resources Department works to protect and enhance Dane County’s natural, cultural, and historic resources. It provides the county’s residents with a broad array of accessible, high quality resource-based recreational services and facilities, and supports residents, communities, local governments and other agencies and organizations in their resource management and protection activities.