Tracking Conservation Outcomes of the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants Program
Since the inception of the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants Program in 2016, producer-led groups have played an important role in advancing conservation practices and promoting soil health farming systems across the agricultural landscape. This work helps improve water and soil quality throughout the state.
Moving forward, it is imperative to track and quantify the outcomes of the program as we continue to build and advance the efforts of producer-led groups. In 2019, DATCP initiated this tracking project to help provide a more detailed picture of the program's impacts to waters of the state.
To date, group projects cover more than 600,000 acres of cropland. Farmers involved represent a wide variety of operation types, crop rotations, and management techniques. Due to the diversity of farming operations and practices represented within the program, DATCP is using models to quantify water quality outcomes, mainly SnapPlus, Wisconsin's nutrient management planning software. It is important to note that these outcomes are projected water quality impacts and not measured water quality improvements through water quality sampling or edge of field monitoring.
Conservation Systems Analysis
A conservation systems analysis was conducted on 13 of the 33 Producer-Led groups (click the Wisconsin map to enlarge). This analysis compares different conservation systems that are common to these particular watersheds. These analyses provide a snapshot of the variation of conservation outcomes that may be realized depending on the unique landscapes and conservation farming practices being implemented throughout the state.
More information on each analysis can be found within each group's individual report:
No-till and Cover Crop Analysis
Additionally, we are estimating potential phosphorus and sediment reductions achieved through the implementation of cropland practices reported by each group. In 2019, these practices resulted in reductions of over
61,000 pounds of phosphorus runoff and
71,000 tons of soil erosion from farm fields.
More information on this analysis can be found in the report
2019 PLWPG No-till and Cover Crop Analysis.
2020 Practice Summary
2020 Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance Conservation Outcomes
2020 Peninsula Pride Farms Conservation Outcomes
2020 Western Wisconsin Conservation Council Conservation Outcomes
2020 Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers Conservation Outcomes
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