Conservation Standards for Farmers
Effective in 2002, the new nonpoint rules require that Wisconsin farmers reduce soil erosion, develop nutrient management plans, and manage manure to protect water quality. Existing farms are not required to comply with these standards unless they are provided cost-sharing. DATCP requirements are contained in ATCP 50 while Department of Natural Resources administers the nonpoint program through NR 151 and other rules. The two agencies have developed a rule summary for farmers.
The nonpoint rules stress local implementation of state standards, with an emphasis on voluntary compliance. Contributions from both the private and public sectors, particularly from county governments, will be crucial to successful statewide implementation.
These DATCP programs will help support implementation of the nonpoint rules:
Farmland Preservation Program
Provides tax credits for eligible farmers in exchange for compliance with conservation standards.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
Offers cost-sharing through a $240 million federal-state-local partnership to establish stream buffers that protect or improve water quality and habitat.
Land and Water Resource Management (LWRM) Plans
Requires counties to identify conservation needs and priorities in a plan approved by DATCP.
Soil and Water Resource Management Grants
Makes available staffing grants and cost-share dollars to implement LWRM Plans.
Provide oversight to ensure that local regulation meets state law.