Kalamazoo Phosphorus Reduction Program
Description and Goals
The Allegan Conservation District has teamed up with the Delta Institute and Michigan Farm Bureau to fund conservation practices in the Kalamazoo River Watershed. This program incentivizes practices on cropland that prevent phosphorus runoff. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant growth, which is why we want to help farmers keep it on their fields and out of waterways where it damages fish habitat and reduces water quality.
Practices such as cover crops, no-till, and strip till can also decrease soil erosion, improve soil health and water holding capacity, increase organic matter, and reduce soil compaction - benefits that help maintain productive cropland for years to come. Using modeling tools, we can estimate nutrient runoff before and after implementing conservation practices. Not only does this provide field insights directly to the farmer, but we can then award payments based on the amount of phosphorus runoff a farmer is able to prevent.
This program will improve ecological conditions in the watershed as a result of reductions in phosphorus losses. Our goals are to:
Prevent approximately 5,000 pounds of phosphorus loss over the three year program.
Give farmers a low risk opportunity to test out new conservation practices on their fields.
Keep fertilizer on cropland and out of waterways, protecting wildlife and improving water quality.
This program will function as a "reverse auction," meaning that farmers will submit a bid for a payment they would accept to implement practices that prevent nutrient runoff. Farmers can choose to implement cover crops, strip till, no till or a combination of these. It takes minutes to apply, and the application only requires your chosen practices, maps of the fields, and the farmer's bid price to install and maintain the practices. For questions or to start an application, reach out to Bonne Matheson, Soil Conservation Technician.
The field(s) much be within the program area (shown in Area Map);
The selected practice(s) must not have been implemented on the field(s) in 2020; and
The practice(s) implemented can only be cover crops, strip till, no till or a combination of these.
Program Materials and Resources
The additional resources below contain helpful information, application forms, and tools that have been developed by the program team. By clicking these links, a new window will open with a PDF document.
The area shown on the map below displays the land eligible for participation in the Kalamazoo Phosphorus Reduction program. Zoom in on the map to explore the program area in greater detail.
Have Questions? Contact Bonne Matheson
Bonne is one of our Soil Conservation Technicians and has taken the lead on the Kalamazoo Phosphorus Reduction Project. Please reach out if you have questions about the project or would like to start your application.
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement GL00E02796 to Delta Institute. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.