The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

September 11, 2013

Minn. farmers among top users conservation program

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A new report says Minnesota farmers are consistently among the biggest users of a major federal conservation program.

The analysis by the Minneapolis-based Land Stewardship Project looks at the Conservation Stewardship Program, which rewards producers for good conservation practices on working farmland. Over 50 million acres are enrolled nationwide.

The group says contract data show that Minnesota farmers have been the biggest users of the program every year it's been offered since 2009. That's true both in the number of contracts at 3,200, and dollars flowing to farmers at $280 million.

Don Baloun is Minnesota State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, which administers the program. He says the report shows how Minnesota farmers are taking advantage of the program to protect water, soil and wildlife habitat.

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Online:

Land Stewardship Project: http://www.landstewardshipproject.org

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