USDA Cover Crop Assistance Program Extends Deadline

by Will Bauer, NET News

July 3, 2019, 12:13 p.m.

The deadline to apply for cover crop funding has been extended until July 19.

Many farmers across Nebraska and the Midwest had to delay planting because a wet fall, spring and early summer left their land saturated and soggy. Some farmers didn’t even get their corn or soybeans planted.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides technical and financial assistance for farmers interested in planting a cover crop. Aaron Hird, state soil health specialist with NRCS, a division of the USDA, said cover crops protect a barren field from erosion and maintain proper nutrient levels.

“It’s an opportunity for folks to use cover crops in a corn/bean rotation where it might not have been totally applicable or possible in past years or future years," Hird said. "This year, by a set of circumstances, bad circumstances, has opened a window of opportunity.”

Farmers interested in the program should contact their local NRCS office.