New Conservation Program for Cranberry
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
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.