2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
January 24, 2020 - Introduced by Representatives Tranel, Kurtz, Tauchen, Krug,
Summerfield, Novak, Kitchens, Felzkowski, Shankland, Pope, Hebl, Kulp,
Gruszynski, VanderMeer, Anderson, Zimmerman, Considine, Neubauer,
Oldenburg, Sargent, Mursau, Ballweg, Doyle, Magnafici, Kolste, Petryk,
Plumer, Swearingen, Vining, Stubbs, Subeck, Milroy, Katsma, C. Taylor,
Quinn, Spreitzer, Sinicki, Emerson, Zamarripa, Ohnstad, Cabrera, Billings,
Vruwink, Born, Ott and Spiros, cosponsored by Senators Cowles,
Petrowski, Feyen, Olsen, Wanggaard, Wirch and Smith. Referred to
Committee on Agriculture.
1An Act to amend
92.14 (6) (c), 93.59 (2) (a), 93.59 (2) (d), 93.59 (3), 281.68 (1t) 2
(intro.) and 281.68 (3) (a) 1.; and to create
20.115 (4) (f), 20.115 (4) (fm), 20.115 3
(7) (d), 93.485, 93.65 and 281.68 (1) (ar) of the statutes; relating to: grants and
4funding for water stewardship certification, a grazing coordinator position,
5producer-led watershed protection grants, lake protection, soil and water
6conservation, and crop insurance premium rebates for cover crops; granting
7rule-making authority; and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
The bill provides funding for one full-time equivalent GPR position in the
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to serve as a coordinator
for managed grazing initiatives in this state. The bill provides $64,800 in fiscal year
2019-20 for the position, and $86,400 in fiscal year 2020-21. Under the bill, the new
position would convene a stakeholder working group to develop a state grazing plan,
serve as the primary point of contact for assistance on effective grazing strategies,
identify new technologies and best practices in grazing that are best suited for the
state, and leverage federal funding to promote effective grazing practices and assist
producers in implementing those practices.
Water stewardship certification
The bill creates a grant program for DATCP to provide grants to reimburse the
costs for agricultural producers to apply for a certification of water stewardship from
the Alliance for Water Stewardship. The grants must be made to the party that pays
those costs and may be made only after the certification is provided. Before awarding
a grant, DATCP must enter into a memorandum of understanding with the party
that pays the certification costs. The bill requires DATCP, in prioritizing these grant
awards, to be guided by an agricultural producer's overall impact to water quality.
A grant may reimburse up to 50 percent of costs and may not exceed $10,000. The
bill creates a new $250,000 continuing general fund appropriation for this purpose.
Cover crop rebates
The bill authorizes DATCP to cooperate with the Risk Management Agency of
the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide rebates in the amount of $5 per acre
of a cover crop planted for crop insurance premiums paid for those acres. Under the
bill, DATCP determines the cover crops for which crop insurance premium rebates
are provided, and a person must plant cover crops before submitting an application
to DATCP for a crop insurance premium rebate. Also, under the bill, a crop insurance
premium rebate may not be provided for the planting of a cover crop on an acre for
which funding for planting a cover crop is available from a producer-led watershed
protection grant, the soil and water resource management program, the federal
Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or the federal Conservation
Stewardship Program. The bill creates a new $200,000 continuing general fund
appropriation for this purpose.
Producer-led watershed protection grants
Under current law, DATCP administers a program to provide watershed
protection grants to producer-led groups made up of farmers located in one
watershed. This bill allows grants under the program to be awarded to producer-led
groups that are made up of farmers located in adjacent watersheds. The bill also
creates a new $250,000 annual general fund appropriation for the producer-led
watershed protection grants.
Lake protection grants
Under current law, DNR provides lake protection grants for monitoring and
improving water quality in lakes. Currently, eligible recipients for these grants
include nonprofit conservation organizations, counties and municipalities, qualified
lake associations, town sanitary districts, qualified school districts, public inland
lake protection and rehabilitation districts, and other local governmental units that
are established for the purpose of lake management. This bill provides that
producer-led groups are eligible to receive lake protection grants provided by DNR.
The bill defines “producer-led group” to mean any group that meets the criteria for
a producer-led watershed protection grant issued by DATCP.
Soil and water resource conservation grants — allocation plan
Under rules promulgated by DATCP, when DATCP prepares its annual
allocation plan for soil and water resource conservation grants to counties, it may
consider a county's demonstrated commitment to implementing the county's
approved land and water resource management plan. Under the bill, if DATCP
considers this factor in preparing the annual allocation plan, it must also take into
account any externalities, such as weather, that may have affected the county's
ability to implement its management plan.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
20.115 (4) (f) of the statutes is created to read:
(f) Water stewardship certification grants.
As a continuing 5
appropriation, the amounts in the schedule for water certification grants under s. 6
20.115 (4) (fm) of the statutes is created to read:
(fm) Crop insurance rebates for planting cover crops.
As a continuing 3
appropriation, the amounts in the schedule to make payments under s. 93.65 for crop 4
insurance premium rebates for the planting of cover crops.
20.115 (7) (d) of the statutes is created to read:
(d) Soil and water management; producer-led grants.
The amounts 7
in the schedule for producer-led watershed protection grants under s. 93.59.
92.14 (6) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) When preparing an annual grant allocation plan under par. (b), 10
the department and the department of natural resources shall consider the existence 11
and location of impaired water bodies that the department of natural resources has 12
identified to the federal environmental protection agency under 33 USC 1313
(d) (1) 13
(A) and agricultural enterprise areas designated under s. 91.84, and shall give 14
priority to providing cost-sharing for nutrient management planning projects that 15
are in or near, or that affect, those areas. When preparing an annual grant allocation
16plan, if the department considers a county's demonstrated commitment to
17implementing a land and water resource management plan approved under s. 92.10
18(4) (d), the department shall take into account any externalities, such as weather,
19that may have affected the county's ability to demonstrate commitment to
20implementing the plan.
93.485 of the statutes is created to read:
2293.485 Water stewardship certification grant program.
The department 23
may award grants from the appropriation under s. 20.115 (4) (f) to reimburse the 24
costs for an agricultural producer to apply for a certification of water stewardship 25
from the Alliance for Water Stewardship. The department shall award grants under
this section to the party that pays those costs and may make an award only upon the 2
agricultural producer's receipt of the certification. Before awarding a grant under 3
this section the department shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with 4
the party that pays the certification costs, which may include types of eligible costs 5
and the length of time that the certification must be maintained. In prioritizing 6
grant awards under this section, the department shall be guided by an agricultural 7
producer's overall impact to water quality. An award under this section may 8
reimburse up to 50 percent of costs, in an amount not to exceed $10,000.
93.59 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) The producer-led group includes at least 5 agricultural producers 11
each of whom operates an eligible farm, as defined in s. 91.86 (1), in one watershed 12or in adjacent watersheds
. The group may include additional agricultural producers 13
who are not required to be operators of eligible farms.
93.59 (2) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
(d) The group assists agricultural producers in the watershed or
under par. (a) to voluntarily conduct nonpoint source water pollution 17
93.59 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
A producer-led group that receives, or on whose behalf a legal entity 20
receives, a grant under this section shall annually file a report with the department 21
describing the activities conducted with the grant and the impact of those activities 22
on water quality in the watershed or watersheds
under sub. (2) (a).
93.65 of the statutes is created to read:
2493.65 Crop insurance premium rebates for planting cover crops. (1) 25
From the appropriation under s. 20.115 (4) (fm), the department may provide rebates
in the amount of $5 for each acre of a cover crop planted for crop insurance premiums 2
paid on those acres. In providing crop insurance premium rebates under this section, 3
the department may cooperate with the risk management agency of the U.S. 4
department of agriculture, and may cooperate with any related federal agency, state 5
agency, or agricultural organization.
In providing crop insurance premium rebates under this section, the 7
department may promulgate the following rules:
(a) Rules determining the cover crops for which crop insurance premium 9
rebates are provided under this section.
(b) Rules establishing procedures for verifying that a cover crop is planted on 11
acres for which a crop insurance premium rebate is provided under this section.
The department may not provide a crop insurance premium rebate under 13
this section for the planting of a cover crop on an acre for which funding for planting 14
a cover crop is available from a federal or state grant or incentive program other than 15
this section, including from any of the following:
(a) The federal environmental quality incentives program under 16 USC
(b) The federal conservation stewardship program under 16 USC 3839aa-21 19
(c) A producer-led watershed protection grant under s. 93.59.
(d) The soil and water resource management program under s. 92.14.