Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

July 27, 2013

Ag Forum: Roadblocks to workshop

(Continued)

Conservation planning is learning your goals for your property, organizing them, and coming up with solutions to implement your goal. NRCS will walk the land with you to get a first-hand understanding of the challenges, limitations, and special features of each operation. This walk through involves making an inventory of resources and identification of the problem areas. Using field visit data and resources like soil maps, air photos etc., NRCS will work with you to come up with solutions to implement your goal. The plan that results is your map to follow to get your goals onto the ground.

NRCS is a technical agency. It is an agency of planners, engineers, biologists, agronomists, soil scientists, and many other professionals. If you already have a plan, and are looking for some quick answers to problems or just friendly advice, these resource professionals are available for you.

Financial assistance is used to offset the cost of installing or implementing your conservation goal. Conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program can be used to offset your project cost, making installation or adoption of your project easier. The biggest hurdles to MAEAP verification that NRCS provides financial assistance for is handling and storage of manure, erosion on high-traffic areas (livestock or equipment), disposal of dead animals, cropland soil erosion (wind & water), management of pest and nutrients to improve soil and water quality, safe storage/mixing loading of agri-chemicals, and fuel storage. Each of these road blocks NRCS assists with financially, helping to move you down the road to MAEAP verification.

If you are thinking about MAEAP and are dealing with one of the above items on your farm, contact your local NRCS office. In Grand Traverse or Leelanau counties, contact 231-941-0951. In Benzie or Manistee counties, call 231-889-9666, or in Antrim or Kalkaska counties, call 231-533-8709.

For more information regarding the Roadblocks to MAEAP verification meetings, please contact Jessica Rasch at jrasch@gtcd.org or 231-941-0960 ext. 23.

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