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Great Lakes Article:

New Conservation Program for Cranberry Production
Wisconsin Ag Connection
Published May 19, 2004


Wisconsin cranberry growers may now apply for cost-sharing for conservation practices suited to this specialty crop. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that the statewide signup period for cranberry conservation practices will open May 24 and continue through June 25 at all USDA Service Centers in Wisconsin.
For the first time in Wisconsin, the USDA's Environmental Quality Incentives Program offers financial and technical assistance to meet the unique natural resource concerns of cranberry production.

Pat Leavenworth, State Conservationist for NRCS in Wisconsin, announced that $300,000 would be available this year to help cranberry growers apply practices needed for water quality and water conservation on cranberry marshes.

Recently proclaimed the state's official fruit, Wisconsin growers produce approximately 3,000,000 barrels of cranberries, annually. This accounts for over one-half of the nation's cranberry production. Cranberries are grown on 15,000+ acres, in approximately 20 counties in central and northern Wisconsin. Cranberries are native to North America, and grow naturally in some of Wisconsin's wetlands. Because of the close association with water, the natural resource concerns surrounding the production of this fruit are amplified.

For most practices, growers will receive up to 50 percent cost-share. The list of eligible practices includes nutrient management, pest management, irrigation water management, sprinkler irrigation systems, tailwater recovery systems, critical area planting, and streambank and shoreline protection.

To apply for conservation cost-sharing, landowners should contact the NRCS office at their local USDA Service Center.


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