MINNESOTA, Mower SWCD – With increased payment rates and this season’s abnormally high rainfall, Mower County landowners are encouraged to apply for turning marginal cropland into permanent prairie and wetlands.
Mower Soil and Water Conservation District is continuing to seek Mower County landowners interested in MN CREP, a state-federal program that permanently restores cropland to native prairie or wetlands, especially on flood-prone or erosive acres. MN CREP applications, which were on hold for nine months, need to be submitted by Aug. 25 through Mower SWCD.
In two years, Mower SWCD has helped get about 125 acres of cropland – all in the Cedar River watershed – enrolled in permanent conservation through MN CREP. Contracts for another 223 acres are nearing completion for land in Mower County’s Cedar and Root River watersheds.
“Low crop prices and unusually high amounts of rain might have farmers looking at their fields differently,” said James Fett, a Mower SWCD watershed technician overseeing the local program. “MN CREP gives them an opportunity to retire problematic acres from production and turn them into excellent wildlife habitat benefiting water quality.”