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Wisconsin Cranberry School 2006 proceedings
(2006)

Porter, Sue
Nutrient management for perennial fruit crop production,   pp. 18-20


Page 18

NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT FOR
PERENNIAL FRUIT CROP PRODUCTION
Sue Porter v
Nutrient Management Specialist;
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Hopefully before the end of 2006, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection's (DATCP) Board will approve a rule related to nutrient management
on farms. Current rules are mostly based on nitrogen and can be inconsistently implemented
from county to county. This rule would incorporate the September 2005 Natural Resources
Conservation Service's 590 nutrient management standard based on nitrogen and phosphorus.
DATCP adopted the current rules in 2002 as part of a redesign of state nonpoint pollution
abatement programs mandated by the Legislature. DATCP proposes to incorporate the
updated federal standard in state nutrient management rules to help prevent manure and
phosphorus runoff and improve water quality. This will also to help ensure that manure is
applied in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. It will also reduce fish kill
and well contamination risks. Adopting this rule amendment will fulfill DATCP's nonpoint-
rules commitment to keep Wisconsin rules consistent with federal standards.
Cost sharing
Updating ATCP 50 Wis. Admin. Code will allow state cost sharing to be provided to county
land conservation departments, and then to farmers, for implementing the September 2005,
590 nutrient management standard. Under this existing DATCP rule, all farmers who apply
manure or commercial fertilizer to cropland (not just livestock operators) must implement a
nutrient management plan. This requirement took effect on January 1, 2005 in certain
watersheds, and will take effect on January 1, 2008 elsewhere. However, state law makes
enforcement contingent on cost sharing for farms not regulated by other means. Enforcement
is therefore limited by the availability of cost-share funds and state and local authorities.
Farms that must comply regardless of cost-sharing include those holding a pollution
discharge elimination system permits from the Department of Natural Resources, farms that
claim farmland preservation tax credits, and farms that are required by local ordinances to
have permits for manure storage facilities or livestock facility expansions. Current DATCP
cost-share funding levels make it possible to target about 20,000 acres per year starting in
late 2006 (less than 1% of Wisconsin's crop acreage). These cost-share funds will be mainly
targeted where runoff has caused fish kills or well contamination or at priority farms noted in
the county's Land and Water Resource Management Plan.
Counties have Land and Water Resource Management Plan to promote compliance with
farm conservation requirements (see s. ATCP 50.12). Counties will seek voluntary
compliance and will offer information, cost-sharing and technical assistance to help
landowners comply. As a last resort, a county may seek enforcement action against a
landowner that refuses to implement required conservation practices. A county may not seek
enforcement action until it complies with applicable cost-sharing requirements under s.
" PO Box 8911, Madison, WI, 53708-8911
18


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