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FARMER AID: A special sign-up for funding encourages farmers to plant cover crops to improve water quality and soil health, prevent soil erosion, and keep down weeds on areas not planted to crops.

Funding to plant cover crops on flooded cropland acreage

Applications will be accepted beginning July 1 until disaster recovery funding is exhausted.

Extreme weather conditions like the recent excessive rains and tornados have hit Ohio farmers hard. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will invest $4 million to help Ohio agricultural producers recover. Technical and financial assistance is now available to producers who were unable to plant their crops due to flooded or wet fields. This sign-up is an opportunity for farmers to plant a cover crop.

“NRCS can be a valuable partner to help Ohio landowners with their agricultural recovery effort,” says Terry Cosby, Ohio NRCS state conservationist. “This special sign-up encourages farmers to plant cover crops to improve water quality and soil health, prevent soil erosion, and suppress weeds on areas not planted to crops.”

NRCS will use the Environmental Quality Incentives Program for this special disaster recovery sign-up. EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that helps ag producers protect the environment while promoting ag production.

Cover crops provide an alternative to fields going fallow and remaining uncovered. They also improve soil vitality by adding nutrients and organic matter. Many fields that are saturated for a long period of time face a loss of soil organisms, according to NRCS. Cover crop roots re-establish soil health and create pathways for air and water to move through the soil, which is key to restoring it.

Cover crop workshops, field days

There are significant changes with cover crops, and NRCS wants producers to be successful in their 2020 planting year. Educational cover crop workshops and field days are readily available throughout Ohio to learn more. Additional information is also available on the Ohio NRCS website and at farmers.gov/prevented-planting.

Landowners should coordinate with other USDA farm agencies when participating in related programs. It is a producer’s responsibility to work directly with his or her insurance agent and Risk Management Agency to ensure understanding of the policy.

To apply for this special EQIP opportunity, visit your local USDA Service Center. Applications will be accepted beginning July 1 until funding is exhausted.

Source: NRCS, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
 
TAGS: USDA Disaster
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