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Wisconsin’s nitrogen optimization pilot program bill awaits the Governor’s signature

Legislation that creates a Wisconsin nitrogen optimization pilot program and assists with improving water quality is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. 

Chad Zuleger

Chad Zuleger is with the Dairy Business Association. He tells Brownfield, “It helps incentivize farmers who are engaging in new practices to reduce nitrogen on their farms. It’s really important that we start seeking new alternatives so farmers have the tools they need to address the water quality issues, and nitrates have been among the top issues to be dealing with.”

Zuleger says Wisconsin Assembly Bill 727 would also budget 400-thousand dollars to provide five-dollar-per-acre cover crop insurance premium rebates, “to incentivize farmers who might be on the cusp of giving it a shot, but just this little push we’re hoping will help incentivize farmers enough to give this practice a try.” Zuleger says similar cover crop programs have been successful in surrounding states including Iowa and Illinois.

Another provision of the bill funds a hydrogeologist position so the state can have more accurate soil and depth-to-bedrock maps.

This legislation along with a bill funding the dairy export program and a bill allowing the non-probate transfer of farm equipment at death await the signature of Governor Tony Evers.

Assembly Bill 727 was supported by 15 Wisconsin agriculture organizations including Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Pork Association, Wisconsin Soybean Association, Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association, Wisconsin Association of Professional Agricultural Consultants, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Cooperative Network, Dairy Business Association, Midwest Food Products Association, Midwest-SouthEastern Equipment Dealers Association and Wisconsin Farm Credit Services (e.g. Compeer Financial, GreenStone Farm Credit Services and AgCountry Farm Credit Services).

Chad Zuleger, Dairy Business Association Associate Director of Governmental Affairs discusses the nitrogen optimization pilot program bill, and the legislative session in general with Brownfield’s Larry Lee 3/8/22.

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