The Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District is providing $20,000 in cost-share for planting cover crops.
The county has a lot of highly erodible land that needs a cover crop to keep the topsoil in place, according to a news release from the district.
The topsoil holds most of the nutrients that feed seed/plants. Cover crops are crucial to keeping cover on the ground, reducing and ultimately halting pollutants from leaching from the soil, which leads to soil quality degradation and water quality impairments.
By participating, the district hopes landowners learn the importance of minimizing soil disturbance, maximizing cover of soil, biodiversity, having a continuous living root system, soil fertility, nutrient efficiency, keeping organic matter in a pasture field and keeping nutrients and pesticides from entering the water supply.
Participants will be asked to fill out a ranking sheet, an application and designate on a map the fields they wish to enroll. There will be a 100-acre limit per participant, and cost-share will pay 75% of the cost but not to exceed $20 per acre. Participants will discuss with staff what they wish to plant and obtain an NRCS seeding specification sheet that outlines the cover crop seeding guidelines.
Following the seeding guidelines will ensure you meet the requirements for cover. Fields will be checked by office staff to verify adequate seeding and cover has been established a few weeks after they are planted. Participants will be responsible for letting staff know when cover crops have been seeded and provide seed tags, invoices and in-kind information.
This information needs to be turned in after the cover crop has been planted but no later than Nov. 30. The deadline to apply is June 30.
If you are interested in applying for this cost-share grant, contact District Coordinator Terry Ault via [email protected] or 812-358-2367, ext. 3035 or it can be dropped off at the office, 1350 Woodside Drive, Brownstown. Currently, the office is limited on the number of people at one time due to coronavirus guidelines.