The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can assist area residents to address resource issues on the lands they own or operate.
Do you have gullies or washout areas? Do you wish you could get more forage off your pasture even on wet years? Are you losing your valuable soil from the wind? Do you want to enhance your property for wildlife? Do you want to improve your forest health? Are you an organic producer looking to extend your growing season?
The agency can help you improve your over-all farming operation and potentially increase your economic bottom-line by utilizing conservation best management practices.
The NRCS has several options to provide payments to address problems for ag producers on crop, feedlot, pasture and timber lands. These programs have a continuous sign-up but first round ranking deadlines have been announced for two of these programs.
The deadlines are Jan. 13 for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Feb. 3 for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). CSP provides payments for the good land stewardship already in place as well as enhancements to that stewardship.
EQIP is NRCS’s main program to provide payments to address concerns such as soil erosion, nutrient management, animal waste, water quality, invasive species and improving grazing and forage as well as wildlife habitat.
EQIP also has a forestry initiative to address resource concerns on private non-industrialized forest lands. If you have a Forest Stewardship Plan or are interested in what these are contact the NRCS office and it can assist with the implementation of those plans by providing additional technical assistance and payments to off-set the cost of doing some of the recommendations within those plans.
For those looking for technical assistance but not a program contract, NRCS can provide that assistance for landowners to address natural resource concerns and better care for the land and water here in Mille Lacs County.
The Mille Lacs County NRCS office is located at 1016 5th St. SE next to the Milaca Dairy Queen and be reached at 320-983-2154.