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Jefferson County

Funds available for soil health and water quality practices

  • 1 min to read

The Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department has funding available to landowners and farmers for a variety of projects. The projects funded must prevent erosion, enhance soil health or protect the water quality of our lakes and streams. LWCD staff are available to assist interested citizens who may have soil erosion or water quality concerns on their property.

Every year, the department receives funding from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture for a variety of conservation practices. Some of the projects that can be funded include closure of unused wells, barnyard runoff control systems, grassed waterways, closure of unused manure storage, nutrient management plans, and shoreline erosion control. Many other projects can also be cost-shared. The cost-share rates vary depending on the practice with most practices cost-shared at 70%, some at 50% and some are a flat rate.

New this year, the department is happy to announce a program to fund both cover crops and pasture establishment. These two practices were chosen as they provide cover to the land and ultimately do a great job at reducing phosphorus delivery to our waterways. The cover crop cost-sharing is a flat rate of $25 per acre of crop ground planted to cover crops. For each producer, the maximum enrollment is 100 acres per year and a maximum of 4 years (nonconsecutive) of eligibility. There is also an opportunity for participants to obtain advice from an experienced cover crop mentor. The pasture cost-sharing is a flat rate of $125 per acre of crop ground converted to pasture with a 40 acre maximum which can be split over multiple years.

Funds are limited for the cover crops, pasture establishment, and Department of Agriculture cost-share programs. Those interested should contact the Land and Water Conservation Department soon as funding decisions will be made in August.

The Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department also applies for funding on behalf of landowners for the Department of Natural Resources’ Healthy Lakes and Rivers program. The practices available are simple and inexpensive projects that work to improve habitat and water quality on properties that are within 1,000 feet of lakes and 300 feet of rivers/streams. They include native plant gardens adjacent to water, rain gardens, diversions to direct water runoff from being discharged to waterways, rock trenches to infiltrate water from impervious surfaces, and upland trees placed in lakes to provide fish and wildlife habitat. Cost-sharing for these projects are 75% of the total cost up to a maximum of $1,000.

Those interested in projects for next year should contact the Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department by the end of August.

For more information on implementing conservation practices or obtaining assistance regarding your erosion or water quality concerns, please contact the Land and Water Conservation Department (920-674-7110).

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