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Daily Newscasts

Report: Farm Conservation Making a Difference in WI

April 19, 2007

A report released today by five Midwestern farm groups finds that farmers participating in the Conservation Security Program are doing a lot to improve the state's soil and water quality. Jeanne Merrill with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute says farmers who participate in the CSP are also making a big difference for wildlife.

"We found that overwhelmingly, farmers are adding new practices that address wildlife habitat on their farms, from planting native grasses to fencing off wetlands and more."

Over 600 Wis. farmers currently participate in the CSP. Merrill notes that many more farmers are eligible, but funding cuts have limited the program to certain watersheds.

Beaver Dam farmer Nancy Kavazanjian says the CSP has been a big boost to her conservation efforts.

"What the Conservation Security Program has enabled us to do is to work even more with our cover crops in our grain operation, and also we added some habitat improvements to our farm."

Kavazanjian adds that the CSP has helped her protect soil with cover crops, and restore habitats for woodpeckers, and she hopes a lot more farmers will benefit.

"That's what's so exciting about this report, that it's really doing what it was intended to do, so let's fund it and see that it works for everybody."

The program is up for renewal in the next U.S. Farm Bill.

The report is online at

Rob Ferrett/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WI