MAEAP renewal legislation introduced


MAEAP renewal legislation introduced

Legislation has been introduced in the Michigan Senate to renew the state’s voluntary assurance program for farmers.

Manager of the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program Joe Kelpinski tells Brownfield more than 1.1 million acres of farmland are enrolled in current verifications or about 14 percent of the state’s farmland. 

In the last five years, he says, “Over 1.1 million acres had nutrient management plans, and the amount of sediment loss was reduced 1.6 million tons, the amount of phosphorus reduced was 1.7 million pounds, and the amount of nitrogen reduced from leaving farm fields was 5.9 million pounds.”

Introduced by Senator Kevin Daley, chair of the Senate Ag Committee and Lapeer County farmer, the bill would renew the fee structure in place to help farms of all sizes and commodities voluntarily reduce agricultural pollution risks. 

“Farmers predominately fund this through their dollars going toward pesticides and fertilizers,” explains Kelpinski.

The bill also seeks to expand research opportunities into practices that improve soil health, water quality, and economic impacts, and clarify funding to support water quality monitoring, cleanup activities, and emergency response to prevent fertilizer or pesticide pollution.

Hear more from Kelpinksi on the reach of the program and goals to help farmers implement sustainability measures.