New incentives are available to help Wisconsin livestock or dairy farmers who are considering Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans for their farms. The “Prompt Completion Incentive” is available through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
State NRCS Conservationist Pat Murphy says a livestock producer may not recognize the true value of their CNMP until an accident or legal action occurs.
"The CNMP will provide the information and records needed to respond to emergency situations in an effective and professional manner," Murphy says. "NRCS offers financial assistance for CNMPs through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program."
However this year, instead of cost-sharing for a percent of the cost, the payment will be a flat rate for the components of the CNMP, Murphy notes. In addition, if the plan is written and finalized within six months of the date the contract is signed, the farmer receives a Prompt Completion Incentive of $2000.
"NRCS wants to reward those farmers who get their plans done and start installing any needed conservation practices as quickly as possible," says Murphy. "By finishing the plan before the end of September, the farmer is in position to start implementing practices in the next cropping season."
The real value of a CNMP was vividly demonstrated recently on the Jim Mlsna farm near Hillsboro in Vernon County this year after a hose clamp failed as the manure storage structure for the 500-cow herd was being pumped out and applied to the field. About 4,000 gallons spilled into the field in the incident.
Farmers interested in developing a CNMP for their dairy or livestock operations should contact the NRCS office serving their counties. Applications for financial assistance must be completed by Dec. 29 in order to be considered for funding in 2007.