The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address resources concerns. In 2015, 11,985 acres were in Conservation Stewardship Program contracts in Gratiot County. These CSP contracts were paid $173,058 for Energy, Nutrient, Pest, Soil, and Water Management enhancement practices as well as for stewardship of existing conservation practices.
In Gratiot County, 20 participants were contracted in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) covering 4,344 acres. EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. Practices contracted in Gratiot County included Brush Management, Conservation Cover, Cover Crops, Forest Stand Improvement, Pest Management, and prescribed grazing that resulted in cost share paid to farmers totaling $144,840 in 2015.
Furthermore, there were 99 contracts which expired and re-enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in 2015. Enrollment in CRP helps to reduce soil erosion, protects the Nation's ability to produce food and fiber, reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality, establishes wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources. CRP encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover.