Cropping System

The MAEAP Cropping System focuses on field-related environmental issues, such as irrigation and water use, soil conservation, and nutrient and pest management. The Cropping System is applicable to all crops grown in Michigan, including field crops and vegetables, fruit orchards, greenhouses crops and ornamental trees.

Each Crop*A*Syst tool includes a series of risk questions to assess effective crop management practices and ground- and surface water protection resources. Crop*A*Syst helps develop and implement a plan to prevent water resource contamination while maintaining economic crop production. Plans conform to applicable Michigan Right-to-Farm guidelines and comply with applicable state and federal environmental regulations.

Crop*A*Systs include:


Crop*A*Syst is coordinated with resources provided by the Michigan Water Stewardship Program (MWSP). Your local Conservation District can help you complete the risk assessment and provide information about other educational, technical and financial assistance.


Once a plan to address the risks identified in the Crop*A*Syst assessment has been developed, and immediate risks of groundwater and surface water contamination have been implemented, farmers can contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) to request Cropping System verification (517-284-5609 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)). An MDARD MAEAP verifier will visit the farm to verify that the Crop*A*Syst plan has been implemented and to ensure that the farmer is addressing all applicable environmental risks.

Once a farm is “verified,” a farmer will be offered a MAEAP sign for display. If needed, an additional sign may be purchased. The producer is also eligible for rebates, cost-share incentives, tax credits, low-cost lending and reduced liability insurance premiums from participating companies, organizations or associations.

MAEAP verification is valid for five years. In order to maintain MAEAP verification, a farmer must review the appropriate risk assessment (A*Syst) with their local conservation district technician and request a site visit from MDARD by calling (517) 284-5609.  

To get started, attend a MAEAP educational session.

 Some helpful resources for this system: