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Wisconsin’s nitrogen optimization bill moves slowly to the Governor

A Wisconsin bill that would create a nitrogen optimization pilot program is now in the hands of the Governor. Assembly Bill 727 was passed in the Legislature on March 9th, but either wasn’t immediately called for by Governor Tony Evers or wasn’t immediately sent by the State Assembly. The procedure to move the bill to the Governor’s desk happened Monday when Speaker Robin Vos ordered the bill’s delivery.

Chad Zuleger

Chad Zuleger is the Government Affairs Director for the Dairy Business Association. He tells Brownfield, “Both the agricultural community and the environmental community have worked very well together to move this legislation forward and we think there’s a lot more to be done, but this is certainly a great first step and we’re excited about it.”

If approved by Governor Tony Evers, the legislation would allow farmers to apply for grants up to 50-thousand dollars in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin to develop and monitor on-farm nitrogen programs.  The funding would come from the state’s environmental fund.

Zuleger says Wisconsin’s ag coalition and environmental partners have been supporting this legislation throughout the process. “We’re really anxious to have the Governor put his pen to paper on this and get this thing signed. Some great work is ready to be done through the state hydrogeologist getting solid mapping on depth to bedrock throughout the state, and providing some additional incentives to promote the use of cover crops.”

Assembly Bill 727 would also provide crop insurance rebates of five dollars for each acre.

Other ag bills related to dairy export funding and the non-probate transfer of farm equipment at death moved through the legislature at about the same time, and have already been signed into law.

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