USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing funds to plant cover crops to help manage acres damaged by Nebraska's severe spring weather. Producers are encouraged to apply by May 17 or June 21 at their local USDA service center.
"This funding will address resource concerns like erosion and water quality, resulting directly from the March 2019 severe weather damage on cropland acres," Nebraska NRCS state conservationist Craig Derickson said. "Cover crops are an excellent way to provide protection to cropland after conservation work has been completed. Cover crops can stabilize the soil and improve soil health."
This funding is available statewide in order to assist the recovery work on cropland acres affected by the severe weather in March. The highest priority cropland includes land that is unable to be planted with a cash crop or harvested in 2019.
Cover crops prevent erosion, improve soil's physical and biological properties, supply nutrients, suppress weeds, improve the availability of soil water, and break pest cycles along with various other benefits. Cover crops also can potentially be grazed.
Work currently being done to maintain conservation structures — as well as sediment removal, debris removal, or grading and reshaping — can be stabilized and protected from further erosion and damage by planting a cover crop.
"For Nebraska's cropland that suffered significant damage, planting a cover crop can be a great way to help protect fields and help restore productivity," Derickson said.
For information, visit NRCS at a USDA service center, or visit www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.