Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, ag producers in Frontier, Furnas, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, and Red Willow counties in southwest Nebraska are eligible to receive funding through the Cropland Cover Initiative to plant cover crops on their cropland.

Interested producers have until Dec. 30 to apply for this year’s funding.

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program’s Cropland Cover Initiative provides financial and technical assistance to ag producers who adopt multispecies cover-crop mixtures to improve soil health and wildlife habitat.

Cost share is available for cover crop seed and planting. Successful applicants can receive up to $77.31 per acre for planting multispecies cover crops and adhering to guidelines for grazing and termination.

Multispecies cover crops can be planted in the spring for a full growing season, or after wheat or other summer-harvested crops, and grazing is allowed. Cover crops can be established on whole fields, partial fields, or as field borders.

Eric Zach, ag program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said, “Cover crops provide a supplemental forage source, suppress weeds, improve moisture infiltration, boost soil organic matter, and provide habitat for wildlife.”

While applications are accepted at any time, those interested in receiving this year’s funding should apply by Dec. 30, 2021. Applications for planning and financial assistance can be made at the local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field office.

The Cropland Cover Initiative is a partnership between the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nebraska Game and Parks, Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

Interested producers can find more information at ne.nrcs.usda.gov or contact their local NRCS office to inquire and/or apply.

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